KCCP Founding Member Question and Answer – Mrs. Helen Lee

Where you born and raised?
Born in Korea but moved to US when I was 6 years old, and lived in Texas for 1 year,  due to father’s visa to US which was employment based and that’s where the job was.

What are your favorite sports/clubs/hobbies?
Running, running, and now biking. I am trying to figure out how to do a triathlon without killing myself. I just need a good pool where I can start to improve my swimming strokes.

What are your children’s names?
Nate, Noah, and Caleb. We are all boys all the time in the Lee household!

What is the most important piece of advice that you have/will pass on to your children?
No matter how hard something is, don’t be afraid to try it because you are afraid to fail. Failure is the best lesson in life, without it you will never ever improve. But don’t forget, you have to also learn from your failure.

Can you provide a brief overview of your work history and current title/position? Professional goals? Other civic/community involvement?
Been a civil rights lawyer in NYC for 10 years specializing in impact/law reform cases on poor people’s rights to subsistence government benefits. This was my only job out of law school, which I gave up a year after Caleb was born because the commute was killing me (they require face time, no matter how much you try to telecommute). I want to make sure that all my children understand how important it is to work for something to change the community you live in and make it better, it can be in any profession/volunteer position, but if you have to use your god given talent for good, not evil nor neglect it. I want to make our schools better and want to give a forum for parents to consider how to think about improving our schools as a whole, not peace-meal with only “fun” stuff. So we shall see how this works out in the near future.

What is the best career advice you ever received?
Don’t worry about making mistakes on the job. Just remember to acknowledge it right away so that it can be fixed in time.

Who was your most influential mentor and what did he/she teach you?
Dr. Stephen Linton (does fundraising to improve the lives of North Koreans through several foundations via medication and food) taught me that people are what’s important in life, and we are gifted with the opportunity to nurture lives positively and that we should never take that gift for granted. God gives lots of gifts, use it wisely.

How did you get involved with KCCP and what is your favorite memory or experience?
Alice and Peter Yi. Women’s club, hands down!

What advice would you have for the next generation of Korean Americans?
Be a civic engineer, don’t be a civic parasite. You have so much talents and gifts, use it wisely young ones and make the world a better place for your community.