Pyle student Arvin Kim wins award for leadership in community

Video courtesy Crystal Park

By Mia Friedman

Once a week, after a 20 minute drive, Pyle eighth grade student Arvin Kim opens the door to his family’s black Volvo. He waves goodbye to his mom as he walks toward the Board of Education building, where he meets with the rest of the Montgomery County Junior Council. During the meeting, they discuss current news at their respective schools and strategize in committees to come up with action plans for the given month.

As recognition for his work with the MCJC, Kim received the award for being a role model for Asian American students at a County Council Proclamation event May 6. The event was held to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month.

Kim is an active voice for Asian American students across the county and state through advocacy for racial equity, and he recently finished his term as Vice President of the MCJC. He has presented leadership workshops to the Maryland Association of Student Councils; he worked with student leaders from across the state and helped them advocate for change in their own areas.

“Being a part of county SGA gives me the opportunity to meet people from so many different backgrounds, yet all share the same passion for advocacy as me,” Kim said.

Last month, Crystal Park—the Asian community liaison for the Montgomery County Council—approached Kim to collaborate on a video about racial equity in the Asian American community. As the child of two Korean immigrants, he saw the video as a way to help reverse stereotypes of his ethnicity and inspire other young people to speak out on racial equity. During the proclamation ceremony, the County Council showed the video and showcased Kim and three other Asian American students from across the area.

“Arvin was chosen [for the video] because he earned the confidence of his peers in the county to represent them in county SGA and has done so well,” MCJC Advisor Shella Cherry said. “He really gets the impact student voice has to making positive change.”

The council presented the four students—three of whom are from Montgomery County— with an award for their leadership in their communities.

Kim intends to continue to advocate for racial equity through his involvement with school, county and state student governments. Specifically, he wants to change the county curricula to promote diversity.

“Racial and socioeconomic disparities are plaguing our country right now,” Kim said. “To fight that, we really need to go to the source: what we learn from a young age. If a student’s education doesn’t reflect their background and they can’t relate to what they are learning about, then they won’t be engaged.”