It is with great honor that I am here to represent the class of 2020. I’m Kyu Choi, and today, on behalf of our class, I would like to extend my gratitude to all teachers, parents, siblings, and friends.
Time flies. I still recall the first day when I came to Wanbang, confusedly staring at strangers who were madly dancing to the . It was a total culture shock for me, not only because of the dance moves themselves, but because it was actually the first time I saw such genuine smiles all around me in my lifetime. However, in just a single year later, I found myself also perfectly possessed in other quirky dance moves but more importantly the smile full of joy, which would have been equally shocking to the new students we welcomed.
Already four years has since passed, now I stand here with an opportunity to share and sum up my and our journey at Wanbang as we also look forward to a new start in college.
When I started preparing for this speech, I first asked myself, ‘what is the biggest lesson I take from our school?’ While there were many competitive candidates, my final answer to the question was ‘service,’ more familiarly, 헌신. And to elaborate, I would like to share a personal anecdote of mine.
My second semester at Wanbang was when I wasn’t perfectly settled yet. I wasn’t sure why I was here, nor what will I become after four years at this place. Perhaps it was because of my insecurities but that winter, I caught a very bad cold. I had severe headaches and the thermometer was stuck around 40 degrees. Lying down powerlessly on my bed, a teacher came and started to wipe my body with a wet towel. As my body temperature slowly fell, I was finally able to fall asleep. I woke up after an hour, and to my surprise he was still there. After two, three hours, and even until it was 6 o'clock in the morning, he was still there to check if I was ok. That morning, he came back to school exactly after an hour and started his work as if nothing had happened. That was the moment I first realized the profoundness of Wanbang teachers’ convictions to serve students, to change the next generations, and to really make multicultural global servant leaders.
There are numerous more examples. I see teachers flying to everywhere in the world to help students to take a better next step, and especially when each application cycle starts, I see our school’s counseling team struggling with sleepless nights for each student’s application. However, these are only macroscopic. There must have been so many people’s service for our success that I wasn’t able to detect. Just as a duck needs to have tremendous kicks underneath the water to swim gracefully, we were only able to continue to grow and succeed, because of countless kicks done by the teachers. And these examples that the teachers set up moved me and us graduates to do the same.
With the guidance and help of my teachers, I am heading to the finest university I can ever go to. But I don't go there for success. I go there to serve. I head to the university in the sincere faith of believing that the greatest among us was here to serve and that I too will be a servant.
Teachers, thank you very much and think you very much.
You are our shepherds. We are your disciples. And Yes, We are a family.