Shawn Kim


I’m a student at the University of Pennsylvania (class of 2021), and I am majoring in Science, Technology, and Society (STSC) and minoring in Sociology and Mathematics. I moved from South Korea when I was two, grew up in Queens, then moved to NJ and went to high school at Westwood. Growing up, I was reminded of my minority status daily, and my low-income background made it even more difficult for me to gain access to certain resources and opportunities. My personal story is something that I bring to Illumna in order to be a better mentor and team member. Some things I am passionate about include social justice and representation in the media. 

I’m a certified “Jesus Freak”, avid music-listener, cinephile, and artist. I love staying active, such as playing basketball, and I root for the Chicago Bulls and D.Rose. Some of my favorite artists are Kendrick Lamar, H.E.R., Hillsong, and Childish Gambino. Some of my favorite movies are The Dark Knight, The Prestige, and Good Will Hunting. In college, I have been a Staff Writer for “The College Reporter”, a radio host for WFNM 89.1, and I am currently a board member for UPenn NAACP and Fulphil. I love to read and write, and if I am not doing one of those things, you can probably find me working on the pottery wheel. 

This is one of my favorite quotes that I think aligns with the goals of Illumna: ” See you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the roses- this is the concrete- and these our my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why. Ask me how”

High School GPA