So Yeong Jeong, a theology graduate from Sahmyook University in South Korea in 2017, decided to donate 10 million Korean won (nearly $8,000) in scholarships for students in the theology department of school. Jeong had been working as a school counselor under a fixed-term contract since graduating.
Jeong said she decided to make the donation to thank several donors, teachers and senior citizens who provided financial support so she could complete her education without too much difficulty. “I hope my donation can help juniors and inspire them to reach out to their juniors in the future,” Jeong said. “In this regard, I think giving creates a virtuous circle.”
Jeong’s donation saved part of her monthly salary while working as a school counselor. “I know it’s not a small amount for a young adult who has just started her real professional life in society; however, I think donating is more of a bigger and bigger investment because you are spending your money on something valuable and meaningful,” she said.
Recently, Jeong was hired as a counselor at a private college in Seoul, where she started working in March 2022.
Jeong was a sophomore at Sahmyook University when she started dreaming of becoming a school counselor after holding a counseling booth with her friends at the college festival. Although Jeong has no professional training in counseling, students who visited the booth found conversation with her comforting and helpful. Wishing to be able to provide more meaningful and practical help to others through career counseling, the young theology major then enrolled in a double major the following semester and took courses in counseling psychology as well as of teaching.
Participating in the School Counseling Internship Program, Jeong found it very rewarding to provide counseling to middle and high school students, and she began developing her plan to become a professional school counselor.
“Watching students with psychological and emotional issues examine their innermost selves and experience change and improvement, I have learned that counseling means accompanying them on one of the most unique and important journeys of their lives,” Jeong said. “There are frustrated students who have opportunities but are unable to reach their full potential due to circumstances or unexpected events. I want to be a counselor who walks with them and accompanies them through their greatest and brightest moments.