Wildcat of the month Jae Kim “seals” the deal with his future in the US Navy

Though many seniors don’t know where they will be next fall or plan on a more traditional route, Jae Kim has a clear vision for his future in the United States Navy after receiving his acceptance letter into the U.S. Naval Academy in early February.

Jae was inspired to apply to the service academies by his move from South Korea to the United States when he was two years old.

“Gaining US citizenship was a very inspiring experience for me. This country has been very good to me and I’d like to do something to serve it,” Kim mentioned when he talked about his inspiration, “Since I was born in Korea, I was by law a Korean citizen. I moved to the US in 2001, and in 2014 my parents earned their US citizenship, which gave me dual citizenship. Since by law Koreans are required to serve a mandatory two years of service to their military at age 18, I revoked my Korean citizenship to serve the US military.”

Kim also considered the the United States Military Academy (West Point) as a method of contributing to the country’s military.

He hopes to become an officer in the Navy and serve the mandatory five years. He will then decide if he wants to continue service or continue his education by receiving a masters in business from Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.

“As a prospective engineer, the Navy has the most opportunities for me. I feel that the Marine Corps just fits my lifestyle more, ” Kim commented.

Kim also is very active in extracurricular activities, balancing them well with his school life. He is an active musician, playing bass in DV’s jazz band and pursuing piano, guitar and voice independently. Kim frequently volunteers for community service and has been a part of National Honor Society since his junior year. He also is a part of Dougherty’s varsity soccer team and has spent six years playing with a competitive club soccer team outside of school, which he considers a driving force behind his personal development.  

“[Soccer]  taught me perseverance, and that no matter what the failure is you always have to work to get over it. Soccer really taught me morals, responsibilities and how to be a good person, a leader, how to be a good team player. It also taught me to respect the authority when it comes to coaches.” Kim commented.

Kim also plans to continue his extracurriculars in his college life, including volunteering, playing soccer and joining a band.

As a senior, Kim intends to spend the rest of his semester relishing the time he has left in high school by spending a lot of time with his friends and trying not to let senioritis get to him too much.

As a well rounded student with four years under his belt, Kim says to underclassmen, “Don’t let grades define you. You do not have to take a ton of AP classes to be a successful student.”