What is the Knowledge Network?
The Knowledge Network (KN) supports the students of KAFSC’s youth program transition to young adulthood by connecting them with young professionals and mentors who represent a diversity of college, career, and life experiences, with a focus on Asian-American identity.
What is KAFSC’s youth program?
The Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is a local nonprofit that provides services for domestic violence survivors in the Asian immigrant community. Our youth program, called YCPT (Youth Community Project Team) are student volunteers who help KAFSC with its community and peer outreach and prevention work. YCPT has about 35 students.
Why does the KN work with KAFSC youth programs?
Our high school students have a heart to serve the community and spread awareness of domestic violence. But as the children of immigrants, they also have a lot of questions about navigating life after high school–from how to decide on a career to figuring out healthy relationships amid the expectations and norms of two different cultures.
Our KN members are models and resources to our students as they figure out answers to their questions and develop their sense of bi-cultural identity.
What do KN members do?
We ask KN members to commit to the program for at least 1 year. Within the year, KN member can take on 1 or 2 roles. The first is to come to a YCPT session one evening per year to engage with YCPT members around a topic related to transitioning to adulthood as an Asian American (topics this year are preparing for college, giving back to the Asian American community, healthy relationships and figuring out one’s career path). The second is to provide an internship or job shadowing opportunity for a YCPT member (most likely over the summer). KN members can do one of these things or both, depending on their preference.
If a KN member cannot participate in our student sessions or offer an internship, they should still sign up if they’re interested (please encourage this). They can still serve as a resource to students if they have particular questions about a particular college or industry. Or as KN evolves, they might be able to meet other needs as they arise.
What are the meeting with students like?
YCPT meets at Flushing Hospital out in Queens. Because of the long distance it requires of KN members, we ask participants to make the trek out only once a year. If desired, KN members have the option of participating in YCPT meetings more than once a year but it’s not required.
Flushing Hospital is around the Murray Hill area in Queens. The space is a big conference room. It takes about 1 hour total to get from Grand Central Terminal to Flushing Hospital, where the students meet. It’s a little quicker if you catch an express train. Take the 7 train to Flushing and it’s either a 20 min walk or a 10 min bus ride from the station. KN members may grab dinner together around Flushing after the session with students.
KN members usually engage with students on Friday evenings. The next session is on Friday December 2nd. Sessions last for 1 hour, from 7-8pm, and are usually a mix of small group conversations and a large group panel.
Each session centers around a theme related to the transition after high school. On December 2nd we’ll talk about the Asian American community and the importance of giving back. A session on relationships is tentatively set for sometime in February next year, and a session on figuring out one’s career path is will be sometime in the spring/summer season.
How can I get involved?
Please sign up to join our Knowledge Network! There is a sign up sheet at the registration desk. We will follow up in a few days with more information.
You can also inquire Jeannie Kim about joining Knowledge Network.