Seong Kim might be one in a million. So impressive are his credentials, it’s hard to believe he’s only 21 years old.

Consider this, by the time he graduated from NCC last May, the list of accolades he accumulated barely fit on a page, including being named a 2023 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and to the All-PA State Academic Team. He also received the 2022 SSAC Best Engineer Award, the Quetcy Dueno Leadership Award, Guistwhite Scholarship Award and Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Scholarship Award.

Those were just the openers!

Kim also earned an internship through a software fellowship program offered at Nexon, a multi-billion-dollar video game developer. In addition, he held a hybrid internship/research position as a Samsung Project Scholar, serving as a project lead.

He fielded acceptance letters and scholarship offers to some of the most prestigious colleges in the nation including the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

Twelve years under his father’s tutelage, working on computers and honing his software engineering skills no doubt helped his cause. But he always seemed to have an innate sense of purpose that led him to succeed and overcome obstacles including dealing with ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome and a natural shyness.

That drive most likely came from his North Korean father’s motivation and a Japanese mother’s determination that have influenced him in so many ways.

Most important, it enabled him to face challenges with the same grit his parents embraced, something that eventually led him to NCC.

The Monroe-based general studies and computer science major, with a passion for technology and a knack for video gaming, graduated with big plans for his future. But sometimes you have to put even the best laid plans aside when new opportunities come knocking.

And so it was with Kim when a unique proposition emerged over the summer: the chance to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime role as an International Officer for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the global honors society.

It’s a role that so well aligned with Kim’s advocacy for education, and a chance to champion open educational resources to empower students, that he opted to put his college plans on hold for a year to pursue the PTK position. The pause, he believes, will offer a transformative sabbatical, dedicated to uplifting students world-wide.

Kim says his NCC experience has played a big role in his progress, and not just academically. The college helped him find his voice and become part of a community where everything clicked, and he felt he belonged.

“My experience at NCC has been nothing short of incredible, providing me with exposure to diverse perspectives and opportunities for personal exploration and self-discovery,” said Kim.

“The campus and the people that I met exceeded my expectations. There were times that I forgot that I was attending a 2-year institution, rather than a 4-year university. “It’s been a true blessing being a student here at NCC, and an experience that I will never forget for years down the road.”