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Education and Social Transformation student Ji Yoon Kim named recipient of UCLA EDI Student Leadership Award

By John McDonald
Ji Yoon (Gloria) Kim
Ji Yoon (Gloria) Kim

Ji Yoon (Gloria) Kim, an undergraduate student in the Education and Social Transformation major in the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, has been selected as an inaugural recipient of the UCLA EDI Student Leadership Award by the UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Kim is one of seven UCLA students to receive the EDI Leadership Award given in recognition of individual students who have exhibited exceptional leadership in work that aligns with and contributes to the mission and priorities of the  UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. These students have excelled in making significant and positive contributions to the advancement of EDI at UCLA, and were selected based on their leadership, innovation and engagement.

“Ji Yoon Kim is being recognized for her exceptional leadership in advancing innovative strategies for enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion as an undergraduate student at UCLA,” said Mitchell J. Chang, Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “Her important contributions have not only made a meaningful difference but will surely have a lasting impact, which will be inspirational for both current and future students. 

As part of Kim’s involvement in EDI efforts, she has taken on multiple leadership roles in the UCLA Academic Advancement Program. For the past two years she has worked as a Peer Advisor at the Center for Community College Partnerships to support underrepresented community college students with their transfer process to pursue higher education. She has also been involved in research projects that strive for education and access equity for diverse student populations, including her honors thesis examining attitudes of Asian students towards seeking mental health treatment to address the disparities in mental health engagement among diverse populations.  Kim has also collaborated with administrators to develop a comprehensive review of the support systems and diversity initiatives that promote the success of community college students. 

“As a first-generation immigrant and community college transfer student, I faced many challenges due to language barriers and my unfamiliarity with navigating the U.S education system. I know firsthand how important it is to contribute to EDI efforts and I believe that’s how I successfully got this far in education,” Kim said. “I strongly believe in the importance of giving back to the community and encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to thrive and reach their full potential. I wanted to contribute to EDI efforts and open more doors for underrepresented students. This award has re-affirmed and validated my passion for creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment for underrepresented and marginalized students in higher education institutions." 

In addition to Kim, the following students were selected for the 2023 UCLA EDI Student Leadership Award :

Christina Del Carpio, Umiemah Farrukh, Ashley Ceballos Hernandez, Carolanne Link, Andrew Ramirez, Norma Sandoval.

For more information on the recipients, visit the UCLA EDI Student Leadership Award web page.