King reports to state officials about training in Korea

Allen King (with mallet) pounds cooked rice to make rice cakes in Yeongju, South Korea. He participated with the Alabama-Korea Educational Exchange Program (A-KEEP). (CONTRIBUTED)
Allen King (with mallet) pounds cooked rice to make rice cakes in Yeongju, South Korea. He participated with the Alabama-Korea Educational Exchange Program (A-KEEP). (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Allen King met with state officials in Montgomery recently to recount his travels with the Alabama-Korea Educational Exchange Program (A-KEEP).

King, Amy Elizabeth Zari and Juhi Patel from Madison participated with A-KEEP, a non-profit organization that provides meaningful educational experiences to high school students in Alabama and South Korea.

“We were treated like royalty everywhere we visited, as most villages, cities, schools and places had banners welcoming Alabama Youth Ambassadors. They gave us gifts,” King said. Several Korean newspapers and television stations reported on the American students.

 

In Montgomery, King presented a trip summary to Dr. Tommy Bice, Alabama State Superintendent of Education; Sen. Gerald Dial; and A-KEEP board members.

Other officials included Chancellor Dr. John Veres III, Auburn University Montgomery; President Dr. G. Ray White, Troy University Montgomery; Meesoon Han, A-KEEP President/CEO; other educators; and A-KEEP Executive Board of Directors.

King explained sessions during their 16-day trip in South Korea. His speech promoted A-KEEP “to businesses, city councils and other organizations in hopes they will consider a scholarship, up to $5,500, for a student in their area for the 2015 trip,” King said.

Korean organizations provide $6,500 of $12,000 in trip expenses. “A-KEEP (provides) additional leadership opportunities to its participants, such as giving presentations like the one I gave,” King said.

While in Korea, King spoke to students and professors at the Hwarang Institute. In the village of Yeongju, he made traditional rice cakes, usually reserved for holidays and special occasions.

The Alabama teenagers met students at GyeongJu Girls Information High School. At the Hwarang Institute, they worked with pottery, archery, taekwondo, tea ceremonies and making ink impressions in Korean manuscripts.

During August, AKEEP will release applications for any high school students who are interested in the trip during summer 2015. For more information, visit AKeep.org.

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