08.02.19 / Community Impact

Korean American Professional Network Awarded Samsung Community Impact Grant

Talking Points

  • In the last of a series of three stories, Samsung celebrates the one-year anniversary of its employee-driven Community Impact Grant program.
  • The Community Impact Grant offers Samsung Electronics America employees an opportunity to nominate their favorite non-profit organizations for a grant of up to $5,000.
  • Over the past 12 months, Samsung has supported 47 employee-nominated non-profit organizations through the Community Impact Grant, totaling some $65,000 in donations.

Korean Americans may be well-represented at the top U.S. colleges and universities according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but research reported in the Harvard Business Review shows they can also bump up against a glass ceiling in the world of business. That’s why Peter Chi, information security manager for Samsung Electronics America and a member of the non-profit Korean American Professional Network (KAPN) wanted to go the extra mile in his support for the organization by nominating it for a Samsung Community Impact Grant.

The tech company’s employee-driven philanthropic program, which celebrated its one-year anniversary this summer, awards grants of up to $5,000 to the non-profit organizations most important to the employees who nominate them.

Korean American Professional Network former President Heon Jeong, left, presents the non-profit’s mentoring program certificate to graduate Sunny Choi, right. A Community Impact Grant from Samsung Electronics America helped KAPN complete its six-month mentoring program for professionals. Photo credit: Chase Park

“Grants like Samsung’s make it possible for KAPN to provide professional development for members and mentorship to the next generation of Korean Americans,” Chi said. He added that it’s all the more meaningful to him that Samsung is a Korean company that’s deeply rooted in the U.S., supporting and celebrating the communities it’s part of.

“I’m honored to help build a partnership between Samsung and KAPN, two organizations that I am proud to be associated with,” Chi continued. “I’m grateful that together, we can help highlight the emergence of Koreans in business and society as we – and all Asian Americans – work to break organizational bias and achieve the highest levels of management.”

Chase Park, president of KAPN, said his organization helps build community among Asian Americans, while also offering leadership and learning opportunities to help them achieve career success.

Proud mentors and mentees: Korean American Professional Network members and the young professionals they’re mentoring. The non-profit, which aims to break the management glass ceiling for Korean Americans, is a recent recipient of the employee-driven Samsung Community Impact Grant. Photo courtesy of KAPN.

“By developing the kind of bonds that make a network more of a collective, a family, the Korean American Professional Network strives to break barriers to leadership,” said Park. “We want to empower the next generation to achieve even more and open doors that we may only have sneaked a peek through. That’s why Samsung’s grant is so important.”

Samsung’s brand promise is also all about defying barriers—by developing technology that helps people “Do what they can’t.” From school-age inventors and entrepreneurs to gamers and everyday creators the world over, Samsung technology is built to empower people and communities to soar past expectations.

The Korean American Professional Network, a Samsung Community Impact Grant recipient, hosts a resume workshop as part of its mission to empower Asian Americans to break the management glass ceiling through professional development and mentoring. Photo credit: Chase Park

Chi explained that with Samsung’s $1,000 grant to KAPN in December 2018, the organization completed its college student mentoring program, a six-month curriculum that included workshops on resume building and mock interviewing and matched students with one-on-one professional mentors for industry-specific insights and guidance.

Even more rewarding for the Samsung employees who nominate an organization for the Community Impact Grant is that every month, the awards are decided by their peers. An all-volunteer panel of Samsung employees reviews the grant applications monthly and selects the recipients.

Since the grant program’s inception in 2018, Samsung has supported nearly 50 non-profit organizations at the direction of employees, awarding some $65,000 in grants.

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