We have our biggest class of interns this spring, which just goes to show that the movement of support for the North Korean people is constantly growing. Different people with different talents have come together to dedicate their energy to something they wholeheartedly believe in—liberty in North Korea. This blog is your chance to get to know the incredible, passionate interns who work behind the scenes to support the North Korean people.
Videographer interns: Annie and Julie
Growing up Annie didn’t know much about North Korea except for what the media poorly portrayed, focusing only on its dictators and nuclear threats. After reading “Escape from Camp 14,” she knew that there was more to North Korea than what the media portrayed and wanted to delve deeper and educate herself more. Though born and raised in Torrance, CA, Annie graduated with a degree in film and digital media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Annie is passionate about film and hopes to use it as a positive medium to help strengthen the voices of the North Korean people.
Julie has the unique ability to fall asleep in any position, especially while watching action movies. Born in South Korea, raised in Portland, Oregon, and hardened in New York City, she has continually encountered new cultures and people. At New York University, she studied media, culture, and communication where she mastered the skill of carrying cameras, boom poles, and c-stands simultaneously. She strongly believes that our stories can challenge the world, inform the masses and capture a simple smile. When she’s not busy filming, she enjoys reminiscing about the time she almost sneezed on Hilary Clinton’s shoulder.
Graphic design interns: Chia Min, Kez, and Tom
One summer day in Pyongyang, Chia Min and her North Korean tour guide mistakenly used the men’s urinals and left with little boys staring at them. The big laughs and embarrassing shared moment with her North Korean tour guide made her realize that North Koreans are more than just “brainwashed puppets” of the regime. Motivated to join the movement, Chia Min took a semester off from the National University of Singapore where she is majoring in industrial design to fly all the way to California for an internship at LiNK.
Kez graduated with a degree from the School of Communication Design at Falmouth University, UK. She first heard of LiNK while researching North Korea for a book design project and jumped at the chance to apply for the perfect internship that combined her passion for the North Korean people and graphic design. Kez’s middle name is Antarctica and her goal is to travel there soon!
Tom just recently graduated with a degree in graphic design from Teesside University in the United Kingdom. He can’t remember the first time he learned about North Korea, but knows it was “Escape from Camp 14” that led him to learn about the work LiNK is doing. Tom recently volunteered at the Anne Frank exhibition for Holocaust Memorial Day where many of the children he spoke to expressed how glad they were such oppression wasn’t happening anymore, but that made Tom think of the importance of LiNK’s work. Tom is also known for collecting things most people wouldn’t think to collect such as maps, train tickets from the UK, and receipts from other countries.
Social media intern: Laine
Laine, who graduated with a degree in German from Cal State Long Beach, calls LA home. She first found out about LiNK a couple of years ago through a past nomad via social media. After graduating college, she decided to apply for an internship with LiNK and traveled the West Coast as a Pacific Northwest Nomad. Laine passionately believes in the work that LiNK does and that’s why she couldn’t be more thrilled to stay on as the social media intern this spring. One of her lifelong dreams is to open and manage a secondhand bookstore.
Translation intern: In
Originally from Incheon, South Korea, In moved to Utah as a teen and graduated years later from Brigham Young University with a degree in neuroscience. Ever since she watched a documentary on North Korean street children, the country and its people have had a place in her heart. In is passionate about women’s and children’s health, and dreams of one day becoming a doctor and working with North Korea’s healthcare system. She was thrilled when she stumbled upon a LiNK van parked on campus and is very excited to join LiNK as a translation intern. In’s name, In Kwon, means human rights in Korean.
U.S. resettlement assistance intern: Joan
Though Joan was born and raised in Southern California, her love of traveling brought her to more than 14 countries around the world. After graduating from the University of Southern California with degrees in political science and public policy, and planning and development, Joan knew she wanted to do work that made a difference in people’s lives. She was so drawn to the work LiNK was doing to support the North Korean that she had to jump on board. Some of her favorite things are baking, trivia quizzes, rugby, hippos, and road trips.
Efficiency technologist intern: Julian
Julian graduated from The University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of the local Rescue Team, LiNK Texas, for five years. After watching the documentary “Inside North Korea,” he felt a deep connection with the North Korean people. Julian took several trips to South Korea to meet North Korean defectors and other organizations working on this issue. Now, he’s returning to LiNK for his second internship where he hopes to help LiNK maximize its impact on this issue. One interesting fact about Julian is that he’s never eaten meat.
HR & recruitment intern: Julie
Julie was born and raised in New York City, New York. She graduated with a degree in anthropology from SUNY Geneseo. It was in college that she became involved with LiNK by joining her college’s Rescue Team where she got to meet many groups of Nomads before finally becoming one herself. Julie was a Great Plains Nomad last tour where she had the opportunity to travel to over 13 states speaking about the changes happening in North Korea. She never expected that she would return to LiNK, but loved the idea of taking charge in the recruitment process, aiming to get more people involved to support the North Korean people.
Booking intern: Shellie
Shellie graduated last spring with a degree in global studies from the University of Arizona. She first became passionate about North Korea when she watched an episode of Oprah showing the National Geographic documentary with Lisa Ling, “Inside North Korea”. Shellie knew that she had to do something, so when a friend in college told her about LiNK, she was ecstatic to become a part of this powerful movement for the North Korean people. She applied to be a Nomad after graduation, spent 10 weeks touring the southeast, and then decided to continue on as a booking intern for the spring. Fun fact: when she was a toddler, Shellie’s dream job was to become Catwoman when she grew up.
Donor impact intern: Michelle
Michelle was born in Busan, South Korea and grew up in Daegu until she went to high school in Virginia. Michelle went to George Mason University and studied global affairs and international conflict analysis and resolution. She chooses to help the North Korean people because she wants to see the unification of her home country and the freedom of the North Korean people, who are in this situation due to geographical misfortune and greed. Michelle has an unhealthy obsession with animals, Star Wars (original trilogy), and Avatar: The Legend of Korra/The Last Airbender.
Rescue Teams interns: Hamaila and Kali
Coming from a military family, Hamaila never really had a hometown but the experience gifted her with a love of traveling instead. After seeing all 50 states and most of Europe, she just graduated with a degree in nutrition from the University of Texas in Austin. She hopes to follow her passion and obtain a master’s in design soon. Pulling from her two years of experience at the LiNK Texas rescue team and her love of design, she will be serving as the Rescue Teams department’s creative intern this semester.
Kali (pronounced ‘collie’) has a passion to make real changes in peoples lives and has aspired to be an intern at LiNK ever since the Nomads came to her school in 2013. Before coming on as an intern, Kali started a Rescue Team at Ashland High School in Oregon and attended LiNK’s Summit event. Now, Kali is thrilled to work with like-minded individuals who are standing with the North Korean people. If you were to look for Kali outside the office, you would find her dancing, eating chocolate or watching “New Girl.”
Tour relations intern: Julia
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Julia spent the past few years studying international development and psychology at Dalhousie University. Thanks to a development and activism course, Julia learned about the human rights crisis in North Korea and, for the past two years, she has been helping to lead a student group dedicated to raising awareness of the issue. She is constantly inspired by the courage and resiliency of the North Korean people and is thrilled to be escaping the Canadian winter to join the LiNK team as the tour relations Intern. Fun Julia facts: she has visited 35 countries and loves Abba music, farmers’ markets, yoga, and snorkeling.