HUMANS OF THE U: HYEONWOO JACOB LEE

“After I finished my military service, I was kind of in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t know where to go, where to start again. I felt like I can’t speak English very well anymore, so I was really kind of afraid.

In my family it was all about numbers and money all the time. My father was an engineer and my brother is a stockbroker, so they never understood what I was trying to do. When I first told them that I wanted to do social work, they were disappointed in me.

But my family started to get curious about what I was studying. They see I learn how to respect individuals and how individuals are important to our society. They now are supportive, calling and asking how school is doing. Every time I feel like I’m down or am sad, I read what my dad wrote to me: ‘One gets seasick from looking at what is right in front of him. Look hundreds of kilometers ahead. There, it is calm like the gentle waves. Therefore, as I watch it now here today and because of that reason, I do not worry at all.”

— Hyeonwoo Jacob Lee, social work student at the Utah Asia Campus

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.