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The Dream of the Next Generation of New Zealanders Shouting Out to the World



On April 20, 2024 (Saturday), the 17th "My Dream in Our Language" Speaking Contest took place in Auckland under the theme "Shouting Out My Dream to the World." At this event, a student from Auckland Korean School named Yuri-an attracted attention by winning the gold medal. This contest was a valuable opportunity for second-generation Koreans, who are expected to play an important role not only in Korea and New Zealand but also globally, to confidently proclaim their dreams with the skills honed at Korean language schools.



(The confident Yuri-an student who won the gold medal and the judges)


The 2024 "My Dream in Our Language" Speaking Contest, organized by the New Zealand Korean Language Schools Association (Chairperson Seunghee Song) and sponsored by the My Dream International Foundation (Chairman Changhyun Son), the Overseas Korean Community (Director Kichul Lee), and the New Zealand Korean Education Institute (Director Sunghoon Jung), was held at St. Luke's Methodist Church in Northcote, Auckland, with over 100 participants, their families, and teachers.



(The opening ceremony scene)


Nanhee Kim, the gratitude manager of the New Zealand Korean Language Schools Association, took charge of the social affairs. Following Chairperson Seunghee Song's welcome speech and the introduction of the judges and each school's principal, the event commenced. After a congratulatory speech from Minister of Ethnic Communities Melissa Lee, there were words of encouragement from Changsik Oh, Chairman of the New Zealand Council for Democracy and Peaceful Reunification, Seungpil Hong, President of the Auckland Korean Association, and Jinmi Ko, Chief Director of the My Dream International Foundation in New Zealand, followed by the announcement of the judging criteria. After the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the competition began in earnest.




(Mr. Song's Welcome Message, Minister Melissa Lee's Congratulations Message, Mr. Oh and Mr. Hong's Words of Encouragement)


The 17th contest featured 18 students selected from Korean language schools across New Zealand, who presented their dreams in Korean. Their aspirations ranged from being a graphic artist, announcer, doctor, police officer, basketball player, cultural ambassador, pilot, YouTuber, golfer, journalist, character designer, diplomat, painter, and cultural diplomat, to even aspiring to become a teddy bear. These imaginative and diverse dreams unfolded over a span of two hours.




(The impressive presentation of Yuri-an, who won the gold medal)


Despite the heavy rain pouring all day, which could have dampened the atmosphere, worries were set aside as each presenter captivated the audience with their unique and passionate speeches, resulting in continuous laughter, cheers, and applause. The judging panel for the day consisted of Minister Melissa Lee, Director Sunghoon Jung of the New Zealand Korean Education Institute, Chairman Changmin Oh of the New Zealand Council for Democracy and Peaceful Reunification, President Seungpil Hong of the Auckland Korean Association, Jinmi Ko, Chief Director of the My Dream International Foundation in New Zealand, and Choonsuk Kye, Vice Chairperson of the My Dream International Foundation Scholarship Committee.




(Students Yun Juwon and Park Chanbin, who won the silver medal)


(Students Go Gyeol and Kim Sia, who received the bronze medal)




(Students Hwang Yuna, Kim Jun, and Jeon Arin, who won the special prize)




(The students who received the Dream Seed Award and a photo taken with them)


While waiting for the judges' decisions after all the participants' presentations, the performance by the traditional Korean folk game team from Hanminjok Korean Language School further electrified the atmosphere of the venue. Sunghoon Jung, Director of the New Zealand Korean Education Institute and one of the judges, praised all the participating students, saying, "It was challenging to judge due to the diverse nature of the dream presentations and the high level of Korean language proficiency demonstrated by children born and raised in New Zealand, freely conversing in our language"



(Director Sunghoon Jung's judging comments and the performance by the traditional Korean folk game team from Hanminjok Korean Language School)


Before the award ceremony, Jinmi Ko, Chief Director of the My Dream International Foundation in New Zealand, presented a scholarship certificate to Jung Yujin, a student from Hanminjok Korean Language School who won the award last year, using funds from the Korean School Association. Jung Yujin will receive a scholarship of $1000 USD annually for two years upon admission to university. The My Dream International Foundation supports sponsorship funds in 46 countries worldwide, aiming to promote awareness of Korean culture among Korean youth and students worldwide, fostering leadership, character development, and realizing their dreams to become global leaders



(Jinmi Ko, Chief Director of the My Dream International Foundation in New Zealand, presenting sponsorship funds and certificates to the Korean School Association and scholarship recipients)


Amidst tension and excitement, the prestigious gold medal was awarded to Yuri-an, a student from Auckland Korean School, for their presentation titled "The Kind Guardian of Our Neighborhood," where they shared their dream of becoming a police officer. This earned them the qualification to participate in the World My Dream Speaking Contest, along with a trophy, certificate, and a prize of $500.



The list of winners for 2024 is as follows:

Gold Medal - Yuri-an ("The Kind Guardian of Our Neighborhood") - Auckland Korean School

Silver Medal - Yun Juwon ("Shining Me in the Green Field") - Auckland Korean School

- Park Chanbin ("A Leader Above the Sky") - Auckland Korean School

Bronze Medal - Go Gyeol ("The Grand Dream of a Returning Student") - Waikato Korean School

- Kim Sia ("Becoming a Diplomat Spreading Love") - Auckland Korean School

Director's Award (Korean Education Institute) - Hwang Yuna ("Dancing Yuna, Dreaming Yuna") - Waikato Korean School

Chairman's Award (Council for Democracy and Peaceful Reunification) - Kim Jun ("Doctor Michael Jordan") - Hanminjok Korean Language School

Auckland Korean Association Chairman's Award - Jeon Arin ("Toward Becoming a Cultural Diplomat of Korea, the Cultural Hub of the World") - Auckland Korean School

Dream Seed Award - Ji-han-nae (Wellington Korean School)

- Choi Yuna (Palmerston North Korean School)

- Song Seoyeon, Lee Jia, Hong Jua, Song Seoa (Hanminjok Korean Language School)

- Yang Yeong-eun, Oh Hana, Han Min-woo, Choi Se-yoon (Auckland Korean School)



(The 8 award recipients)


My Dream Speaking Contest will continue to contribute to fulfilling the dreams of more students, and we look forward to the next 18th Speaking Contest, which will be held in Waikato Hamilton.




(All participants and judges)




(Teachers, parents, and participants)

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