Harding was often viewed as a melting pot of students from different countries, continents and cultures. Junior Rebecca Yoon found her way to Harding from South Korea, and she quickly found a home in the community.
Yoon originally came to America to attend high school, spending four years in Maryland before moving to Searcy for college. Her experiences at both levels of school were very different than what she would have experienced in South Korea. This difference had a large impact on Yoon’s family’s decision to send her to America for school.
“In Korea, I had to take about 12 to 14 different subjects every year from middle school to high school. I had no options or choice of what I wanted to take, and I had to do well in all subjects in order to get into a good university,” Yoon said. “My family did not think this was necessary, and we all preferred America’s education system where you can choose what you want to study.”
Yoon also wanted to come to America for education because she had a dream of becoming a pediatrician who would be recognized in different countries.
“In South Korea, even if you get a doctorate, you are only allowed to practice in Korea. Korean doctors are not allowed to practice worldwide,” Yoon said. “Our doctorate degrees do not permit that, so if I really wanted to practice in different countries then I had to take the American test, meaning I would have to learn all the medical terms and things in English all over again to take the test.”
Yoon became a Christian during her sophomore year in Maryland. This was one of the most pivotal points in her life and helped her to grow as a person.
“I came to America with this dream of becoming a doctor, becoming famous and building up my name and my family’s reputation,” Yoon said. “When I met Jesus Christ, my life was turned upside down. Jesus touched my heart and showed me His vision. Since then, my ultimate goal is to become a missionary. Becoming a doctor used to be everything to me, but now I see this career as just one of the tools to reach out to people who still do not know the gospel.”
Yoon quickly became very involved on campus and made many new friendships with people such as juniors Gloria Dion and Sarah Harris. Those relationships helped her along her path.
“She’s taken Harding by storm,” Dion said. “Not only is Rebecca one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known, but her consistently upbeat personality has made everyone around campus love her.”
Harris echoed that Yoon established a presence at Harding through her kindness and her involvement on campus.
“Rebecca has adjusted well to college life,” Harris said. “She loves her friends and professors here at Harding. Since her freshman year, Rebecca has been active in ChiO’s as an officer for all but one semester. She loves people and shines her light by encouraging them.”