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2020 Scholarship Award Winner

Posted on October 16, 2020 by Chris Kirker

Kirker Davis is pleased to announce our 2020 Scholarship Award winner, Ms. Faith Deering. After carefully reviewing several hundred submissions, Ms. Deering, a Sophomore at the University of Mississippi, was awarded this scholarship for her excellent essay, which can be read below. Ms. Deering’s essay, her dedication to her studies, and her involvement in her community all contributed to her earning this award and we are proud to be able to support her future goals.

Ms. Deering is working towards an International Business Degree and a Korean Studies minor. She is actively involved in many organizations such as Ole Miss Generation and the Ole Vietnamese American Student Association, where has choreographed and taught dances to other students. Ms. Deering is also active in her community through her on-campus church organization, where she helps foreign exchange students acclimate to life in America.

Ms. Deering hopes to attend law school to become an International Entertainment lawyer, working with the South Korean entertainment industry abroad. She is passionate about shaping the entertainment industry into a fair and equal landscape. The future is bright for Ms. Deering, and we are excited to play a small part in her continued success!

Faith Deering

Kirker Davis Scholarship Essay:

I never expected that watching a four-minute and seventeen-second K-pop music video in the summer of 2015 would completely steer my life in a new direction. As a freshman in high school, I was introduced to South Korean Pop Music (K-pop) and became very interested in learning the Korean language. Unlike Spanish and French, which I was told I had to learn in school, something about Korean just clicked with me. I didn’t have to be told to study it; I was genuinely interested in learning Korean. So, throughout the rest of high school, I studied Korean with language immersion classes and self-studying. 

When I study Korean, I can study it for hours on end without stopping. The language itself has many simply written characters that make up the alphabet and you use those characters to construct words and sentences with complex grammar structures that make me want to decode everything that is being said. Forming sentences in Korean, understanding what is being communicated, and then being able to converse with others was what made me want to broaden my knowledge on Korean culture and be more immersed in the language and culture. I love listening to Korean music genres such as pop, indie, and hip hop and spend hours upon hours figuring out what the English equivalent of the lyrics are. The language just comes naturally to me and many of my friends say that I can speak it and understand it very well due to the many hours I spend studying and practicing it every week.

Whenever I get stuck on a grammar pattern or want to learn more about a word, I turn to my South Korean friends that I made while attending the University of Mississippi or I turn to South Korea’s Google (NAVER dictionary) to look up the word or grammar pattern. I study regularly using my Korean language textbooks and frequently watch South Korean content creators on Youtube without subtitles to improve my reading and listening skills. I also watch Korean reality television shows and dramas to hear Korean spoked casually and formally and have changed my phone’s language settings to Korean to be fully and technologically immersed in the language.

I plan to use my Bachelor’s degree in International Studies to attend law school and further my career goal of becoming an international entertainment lawyer and diversity trainer for Korean entertainment companies. I want to work with artists as they navigate contracts with Korean and global entertainment companies and I want to educate entertainment companies on diversity and cultural sensitivity issues so that they can better connect with their global fans. My passion for the Korean language is what gives purpose to my understanding of South Korean culture. For me, learning the language moves me one step closer to understanding the culture more. As I have become more fluent in the Korean language, I have been better able to understand the mindsets, behaviors, and emotions of my Korean friends and their families.

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