By Patricia KaowthumrongUganda

About Susanna Park

School: University of Denver
Hometown: Thornton, CO
Involvements: Invisible Children, HELP International and New Life Mission Church
Quote she lives by: “Keep doing the things that you’re passionate about, then you’ll end up right where you need to be.”
Susanna in three words: Bringing Sexy Back or Work In Progress
Hobbies/interests: Photography, music, travel, eating, animals, human rights, movies, arts and dance
Dream job: Good question. If there’s a job out there that is a morph of NGO, law enforcement, and medical, please let me know.

Although 20-year-old Susanna Park is only a third-year student at University of Denver, she already has two humanitarian trips under her belt. And she’s far from finished pursuing her passion to “serve and love the global community.”

“To realize how small I am compared to this world is a great thing to realize,” Park says. “Simply put, to realize how little you know is a step closer to knowing more. As I meet new people and continue to experience life, my faith in God has given me a humble perspective and a desire to serve and love the global community. Ultimately, to think of myself less and to think of others more is a daily challenge.”

Park, who is Korean, is a Colorado native studying international studies with a concentration in international development and health, as well as a concentration in international organizations and security and human rights.

“I want to be a world-changer,” she says. “However that happens or whatever that looks like, I believe that if I keep doing what I love, I’ll end up where I need to be.”

Park won the “School for Schools” challenge through the Invisible Children organization. As a result, Park was given the opportunity to join fellow winners in other U.S. regions on an all-expense paid trip to Uganda to visit schools they raised money for and meet the faces and builders of Invisible Children in Uganda.

This year, Park traveled to Fiji through an organization called HELP International that sends teams out to countries such as Thailand, India and Uganda to work with locals to solve issues related to business, health or education. Because Park has an interest in health, she worked with the Ministry of Health in Fiji.

“Several other volunteers and I went to schools and villages and conducted focus groups on topics like diabetes, physical activity and tobacco,” Park says. “We then took these results and compiled a report that we took back to the Ministry of Health.”

Park says Uganda was the best experience of her life, but she also hopes to travel to Mali, Kenya, Thailand, India, Cambodia, and Japan over the next few years.

Fiji2“Going to Uganda has opened up my eyes to the beauty of a community rising up from the ashes of war, and to the true value of human relationships,” she says.

Park says she looks up to her sister, Esther, who is currently acquiring her doctorate in psychology. She is also inspired by the Asian-American community.

“As an Asian-American, I have a supportive community that empowers me as an Asian-American women to dream big,” Park says.

“To experience what it is like to be a minority has educational value. At the same time, the prejudice against minorities is hurtful and an unfair experience. However, I am blessed to have friends, family, and educators that have made me realize the value of the human life, regardless of sex, race, sexual orientation, etc.”