Indiegogo Campaign - Part 1, Introduction

Hi! I'm Tae Young. I'm a rising third-year student at New York University, and I want to tell you a story about six students that have changed my life.

After starting college at NYU in the fall of 2012, I studied for a year and then took a semester off to take a break and work back in my hometown Seoul, South Korea. I took this opportunity to volunteer as an English teacher at a World Vision community welfare center more than an hour away from home. Every Wednesday, I took the subway for about 2 and a half hours roundtrip to go teach six 9th graders who were preparing for final exams coming up in December.

World Vision Community Welfare Center in Seongnam, South Korea

World Vision Community Welfare Center in Seongnam, South Korea

Because of the rigid and competitive education system solely based on textbooks and exams, I couldn’t “waste time” telling my students things like real life in America, the importance of confidence in learning and speaking English, and other little things like fun stories in college and the amazing opportunities and people you can meet here in the US. I did try to make English a bit more appealing to them, but to my students, English was just another obstacle that they had to plow through in order to produce high-enough numbers on papers that would dictate their future.

Middle School (9th grade) English textbook I taught with. Pages and pages of grammar structures and vocab words to memorize..

Middle School (9th grade) English textbook I taught with. Pages and pages of grammar structures and vocab words to memorize..

Having been educated in America for the past 13 years, I know that the best teachers are the ones who not only teach their subject well but also give students new experiences and opportunities. One of my favorite high school experiences was when, with the help of my school and a generous alumnus, I was able to take twelve students to Philadelphia for a business leadership conference. Managing a budget for thirteen people, arranging transportation, managing schedules, and overseeing a group trip from beginning to end are not things you can learn through books and test through exams, especially all at once.

13-student group I brought to Philadelphia for the FBLA Business Leadership Conference in 2011. I'm third from left in the back row.

13-student group I brought to Philadelphia for the FBLA Business Leadership Conference in 2011. I'm third from left in the back row.

I am so thankful to those who gave me those opportunities to grow as a student and as a person during my high school years, and I would like to pay that forward, starting with my six students from Korea. The fast-paced streets of New York City, the beautiful college towns of Boston, and the historic sites of Washington, D.C. will not only be amazing sites to see for the students, but also a symbol of a greater world, and the opportunity for the kids to see potential within themselves to strive for a greater self and a greater world. 

I’m hoping to bring my six students to the US next January, for a total of 8 days. Four days in New York City, two days in Boston, and two days in Washington, D.C. will be our entire trip. As you can imagine, the flight and housing costs for eight days in America for six students are very high, and I am planning on launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the trip.

Indiegogo homepage, found on indiegogo.com

Indiegogo homepage, found on indiegogo.com

Instead of just launching a campaign and promoting the campaign as soon as it launches, I wanted to share the entire process from beginning to end on my blog. I may make mistakes along the way, but I believe that these posts will not only help me polish my campaign better but also (hopefully!) help others who are thinking of launching a crowdfunding campaign themselves. 

Updates on the projects will be uploaded consistently to this blog, so please check back often! 
You can also email me at twoo (at) taeyoungwoo (dot) com if you have any questions/suggestions about my Indiegogo campaign. Thanks!

Tae Young WooComment