My name is Sarah and some of you may know me as LiNK’s Rescue Teams Manager. Everyone has a LiNK story about how they got involved and I’m excited for the opportunity to share mine with you.
It began when I stumbled across a friend’s post on Facebook about his internship at LiNK. When I visited LiNK’s website, I was shocked—not only at the gravity of the issue, but at the fact that I barely knew anything about North Korea. Sure, Kim Jong Il had been referenced in the news as a crazy, nuclear-weapon-hungry dictator and North Korea had been used in my politics classes as an example of a dictatorship, but that was pretty much all I knew.
“My first internship at LiNK changed my life.”
On LiNK’s site, I read about the famine that happened in the 90s and the political prison camps that still exist. I couldn’t believe that I had never thought about the challenges facing the North Korean people before, especially considering how interested I was in international issues. I figured a lot of people probably didn’t know about it and that I had to get involved, so I applied to be an intern.
My first internship at LiNK changed my life. I was fortunate enough to get to know three North Korean refugees: Danny Lee, Shin Dong-hyuk, and Joseph Kim. What started out in my mind as such an overwhelming, serious, complex issue became a lot simpler. It was about the PEOPLE—their challenges and their potential.
After my internship ended, I started a Rescue Team at my college and we hosted awareness and fundraising events to rescue a North Korean refugee. Knowing that our efforts (everything from bake sales to benefit concerts) reached so many new people on campus and literally saved a life was incredible.
After graduating, I was a Northeast Nomad for two tours and did presentations at hundreds of venues. It was amazing to change people’s perceptions of North Korea and to connect with our dedicated supporters. When the position opened up to oversee our Rescue Teams, I couldn’t think of a better fit. I’ve been Rescue Teams Manager for about a year and a half now and I consider myself a “lifer.”
Left: Me and a few Rescue Team leaders meeting the refugees they helped rescue in Seoul.
Right: Me and Jessica Kwen, the Rescue Team president from Glen A. Wilson High School, imitating the poses from one of Sun Mu’s iconic paintings.
Today, I’m so happy that I get to help change the way the world sees and responds to North Korea. I’m extremely excited for us to continue to grow the movement for the North Korean people.
SARAH | Rescue Teams Manager