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Jade Kim joins TNKR as Academic Coordinator

Hello, my name is Jade. I was recently hired as the Academic Coordinator of TNKR’s education programs. As a North Korean defector who has been studying in TNKR since 2015, I feel this is an incredible achievement and I appreciate the opportunity to work in TNKR.

It is a remarkable thing for myself because I was not confident when I joined TNKR Track 1’s English language program. Now, five years later, it is possible to work in TNKR, communicating with people in English. I truly want to thank the volunteer tutors and the co-founders, Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee.

Through TNKR, I have studied with more than ten teachers who were enthusiastic and loving. They led me to be here by sharing their time with me and I am so thankful to them. I am so thankful for Casey and Eunkoo’s leadership in building such a wonderful organization helping so many people.

In TNKR, in addition to learning how to speak English, I have also learned the importance of having compassion to help those who are around you.

Therefore, when people ask me what TNKR means to me, I tell them TNKR means one main thing: Opportunity.

Education or knowledge are things that no one can take away from you. It is a reliable internal asset to have.

TNKR has played a major part in helping North Korean refugees like me obtain knowledge and education. I appreciate now being TNKR’s Academic Coordinator helping to make this possible for others.

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And from Hyun S. Song, a close colleague of hers:

And from Liberty in North Korea, the definitive announcement, August 4, 2020

TNKR is seeking a full-time paid Academic Coordinator

Help Wanted: The Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR) is seeking a full-time Academic Coordinator.

Main responsibilities:
* Manage the organization's main three programs

Track 1, English Tutoring Track 2, Speech Coaching Track 3, Employment and Education Opportunities
* Handle the recruitment process for volunteers applying to TNKR.

* Lead one orientation session and one Language Matching session per month.

* Monitor the program by working with volunteer tutors, coaches and mentors studying with North Korean refugees.

* Continuously update the program to fit the needs of North Korean refugee students as a priority and keeping it as flexible and rewarding as possible for volunteers.


Requirements and Expectations:

* Minimum one year commitment.
* Able to be legally paid in South Korea with your current valid visa that you confirm through immigration (or that you are a South Korean citizen).
* Available to work during office hours at the TNKR office near Sangsu Station,…

What's special about TNKR?

So you wanna be a TNKR tutor! There are some things you should know to understand why you are about to have a special experience.

TNKR is learner-centered!Students get to choose, we are their language helpers as they start or continue their journey into the world of English.* TNKR's co-founders discuss the program in a special #hashtagimpact interview.* Refugees choose their tutors at a Matching session. This TV clip from 2016 shows what the session is like (it is made for TV so it is 90% accurate). * Our process has been praised by Thae Yong-ho, the former North Korean diplomat and who is now the first NK defector directly elected to South Korea's National Assembly. (VideoScript)_________________________________________________
Why are North Korean refugees so eager to learn English?

* USA Today: North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English

* Casey Lartigue's 8 part series in the Korea Times: (1

2020-07-24 Pandemic Tutoring

The question comes in various forms, as a request, a recommendation, a plea, an insinuation, an accusation, and sometimes (or most of the time) it is a demand and complaint at the same time.
In my in-box yesterday: "And I wanted to know if TNKR also transitioned to online services as any other educational institutions globally under the pandemic."
This was from a previous volunteer who is now in the USA, so I took more time to answer him, and will expand it now so I can share it with others asking.
As context, TNKR started as an informal group connecting North Korean refugees with volunteer tutors. In 2016, we became an official organization despite lacking funding. Mainly because we have limited resources we keep focused on our main mission, but try to expand based on the needs of North Korean refugee learners. We have developed a learner-centered organization that has a great reputation among North Korean refugees. That means we are not a social club or referral agency for pe…