By Haejin E. Koh
What do an oilman, a schoolteacher, a lawyer, a community advocate, and an energy guru have in common? They are among the 11,813 Korean Americans living in Harris County, although community leaders believe the number is twice as large. The Korean American landscape is sometimes summarized by a list of organizations such as the Korean American Association of Houston, the Houston Korean American Chamber of Commerce, and the Houston Korean School, but it goes beyond that. The five individuals highlighted in this article – John H. Kim, Dr. Soon Duck Lim, Kristopher Ahn, Gigi Lee, and Dr. Sam Jae Cho – have lived in Houston for decades, with similar dissimilar junctures in life. In many ways, they resemble anyone in Houston, attending school, attending church, working, changing careers, raising children, taking care of older parents, participating in the community, reaching for something better Yet their stories demonstrate the diversity within the Korean American community.
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