Stephanie Yoon

hometown: McLean, VA

role: Editor for East Asia

A little bit about me

I am currently a sophomore from McLean, Virginia, which is 3 miles from Washington D.C.

I was born in Ithaca, New York, a rural area when my dad was getting his Ph.D at Cornell. Shortly after, my family moved to South Korea, my parents’ hometown, when I was three. After a year, my family moved to the Philippines when my dad landed a job at the Asian Development Bank there. Nevertheless, never staying in place for too long, the summer before second grade, my family moved to Washington D.C.

While I’ve lived in South Korea for only a year, I find myself resonating with my Korean heritage rather than my American one. My upbringing and the values that my parents instilled upon me are very much Korean.

Furthermore, as an only child, the practices, lessons and culture I learned at home were only from my parents; in fact, I was the member in the family who brought American culture to the dinner table. I was the one who introduced to my family (including but not limited to): Halloween, the mannerism of holding the door for someone, of saying “Bless you,” of acknowledging a compliment when someone compliments one’s child (it’s a Korean rule of thumb for parents to humbly deny and reject a compliment made to their child). It was only at school where I learn and experienced a glimpse or breath of the “American” life. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to boarding school – to pop my Korean bubble and experience not only “American culture” but cultures from all around the world.

Similarly, I hope through the Contour, readers can “pop” their own bubbles, whether they created it consciously or not. The bubble of our achievements and our ambitions. The Contour, I hope, will allow readers to take a step back from all life’s chaos and madness. In return, prompt readers to think about how they can be responsible global citizens, of how they can take care about the world that they are in.