I come from humble beginnings.
Born and raised in Georgia, I am the son of Korean immigrants and the grandson of refugees from the Korean War. From an early age, my mother instilled in me the importance of faith, family and hard work. Every Sunday I attended Korean churches where my mother played the organ, and First Baptist Church of Atlanta and North Point Community Church to attend Sunday school. As a single mother and an immigrant to a new country, she struggled to raise three kids. She taught piano lessons and tutored children after school to put food on the table, and stressed the importance of education.
Growing up in Gwinnett County, I went to Providence Christian Academy for elementary school. I am also a product of our great public education system attending Taylor Road Middle School, and Chattahoochee High School. After graduating high school, I opened and managed my family's small business in Roswell, Georgia while taking a few classes at Georgia Perimeter Community College. The financial stability from the business, along with the HOPE scholarship, allowed me to attend Georgia State University for undergrad and law school. Through my mom’s example, guidance, and sacrifice, I achieved the American Dream becoming the first lawyer in my family.
In December of 2014, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, and given 4 to 6 months to live. As she was working full-time and regularly exercising, it came as a shock to my family, and turned our world upside down. Thanks to Medicare and Medicaid, however, she had access to affordable, quality health care. By God's grace, she could not be doing better today. It has been almost two years since her diagnosis, and her doctor recently discussed the possibility of partial remission. Without public health insurance, which gave her access to healthcare, it would have been a very different story.
As I take my mom to her chemo appointment every two weeks, I am constantly reminded of the importance of health insurance. Access to healthcare is a matter of life or death. Knowing this, based on my experiences and faith, I was compelled to run for public office to ensure all Georgians have access to healthcare by expanding Medicaid in Georgia.