By Lee Jong-hwan
Seoul, June 22 (World Korean News)= "I understand that there are some people who wonder if they can give so many U.S. Presidential Service awards or if they are not real. So I talked to the local Korean media. Reporters should contact the White House directly for confirmation."
Ted Kyung Lee, senior vice president of political affairs at the Korean American Chamber of Commerce U.S.A.(KACCUSA), told reporters in Atlanta.
He received a letter of appointment from Cho Kwang-se, chairman of the Korean American Leaders Association (KALA), as Representive of the Georgia branch. The organization recommends the U.S. Presidential Service Award.
The letter of appointment read: "The KALA awards young people the U.S. Presidential Volunteer Award after receiving approval from the U.S. Presidential Award Committee. This helps teenagers get extra points when they go to school and college."
The purpose of the KALA is to foster 100,000 cyber diplomats from the U.S. It is to support the youth's volunteer work as a cornerstone for the promotion and development of friendship between the U.S. and other countries.
After receiving the letter of appointment, Lee held an event to deliver the Presidential Service Award at the Korean School in Atlanta.
Cho Kwang-se, chairman of the KALA in California, and Moon Sang-gui, vice chairman of the New Mexico, also participated in the event.
The winners were 11th and 12th graders in high school. In addition, six Koreans who took the lead in donations and volunteer work for a long time in the Korean community in Atlanta also received awards.
Lee said he selected four out of 20 assistant teachers at the Korean school in Atlanta and recommended them, adding that principal Kim Hyun-kyung applied strict standards.
Winners are required to submit a confirmation that they are volunteers at school, a tightly recorded content of volunteer work on a sheet of A4 paper, and a transcript. The documents were all written in English. Through this process, 10 people were awarded, Lee explained.
"I think it should be encouraged for Korean students to actively do community service and go to college with extra points. I think it's a great idea."
Ted Kyung Lee added, "The students who received the award this time were those who served 250 hours as assistants for two years, four hours a week."
"I paid all the application fees of $38 per person", he said.
There was a constant stream of phone calls to him when I talked to him. It was mostly business-related calls.
Ted Kyung Lee runs a limited company called Whale Enterprise in Atlanta. It is a company that distributes Korean liquor, including Jinro Hite. He has also jumped into medical distribution and is supplying hospital consumables, including hospital gloves, with a U.S. partner.
Lee was also appointed as an overseas advisor to North Gyeongsang Province by Governor Lee Chul-woo.
**(This translation was sponsored by Oh Won-Seong, former chairman of the Korean Association of Dallas.)