DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - Dobbs Ferry High School senior Yunsun Roh has been selected to receive the 2012 Presidential Community Service Award from President Barack Obama for her volunteer work and leadership with the “Young Asian American Leaders for the Future” program.
“I moved to Dobbs Ferry from South Korea when I was in third-grade and didn’t speak a word of English and was extremely shy,” Roh said. “The Dobbs Ferry community was very welcoming and I have friends from many different cultures here including India, Italy, Mexico, Jamaica, China, and, of course, the United States."
Roh has been an active member of the Young Asian American Leaders group for the past three years and was recognized for her achievements and for completing 1,496 internship hours with the organization’s sponsor, the United States Asian-American Law Enforcement Foundation (USAALEF).
“I am very proud of Yunsun for all she has accomplished,” said Dobbs Ferry High School counselor Cristin Silk. “She possesses strong ethics, an innate intelligence, great humility and a maturity beyond her years.”
The USAALEF formed the “Young Asian American Leaders for the Future” program to encourage teenage members of the Asian American community to aspire to enter public service and law enforcement professions. This year, students attended and participated in an eight-week leadership program and participated in various events at the United Nations.
Roh is an international baccalaureate diploma candidate, a member of the National Honor Society and the senior representative for the Legislative Branch of Student Government. She is co-editor of the school’s literary magazine, Orpheus, plays first violin in the school orchestra, and is the only female member of the varsity golf team. Roh plans to study political science in college.
“It felt so surreal when they told me about also receiving the President’s Award as I never would have expected it,” Roh said. “Koreans tend to emphasize grades and academics more than creativity and service. Education here encourages you to go beyond academics and participate in sports, theater, music, clubs and other activities."
Roh said, "I’m just glad that I could make my parents proud, and it reminds me to continue to reach for my goals and focus on getting involved in important causes and issues.”
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