The recipient of travelBIGO’s May 2009 Punzabo Award (and $100) is Gyong Kang! Her winning essay entitled “A Green Realization” tells of Gyong’s experiences in Dublin during the summer of 2008. At the age of 16, she stayed at the prestigious Trinity College where she participated in a writing program. But her time in Dublin taught Gyong more than writing; she experienced art and culture and realized the power of artistic expression that can transcend borders.
Currently a 17-year-old high school senior living in the town of Monsey in upstate New York, Gyong was born in South Korea and emigrated to her current residence when she was young a girl. Grounded in the importance of school and friends, Gyong speaks about her life in Monsey, “Living in the suburbs of New York has been a learning experience. While my city can be quiet and sometimes lifeless, my friends from school have made it completely worthwhile.”
As she approaches graduation, Gyong reflects back on her high school career which has been nothing like she anticipated. Exceeding her expectations, Gyong revealed, “I’ve had the honor to be taught by so many bright, inspirational teachers who made me realize the importance of passion and following it confidently.”
She plans attend college in the fall when she will make the move to the University of Chicago. Tentatively, her major is English, which makes perfect sense as writing is her passion. She said, “I spend most of my time both writing poetry and reading poetry. I recently got into writing essays/prose.”
And although not a permanent plan yet, Gyong hopes to pursue a career that involves writing of some kind. She explained, “I’m not sure of what I’d like to do as a career yet. I only know that I want it to entail writing—whether it’s mine, or others. I’ve considered working as an editor for a literary magazine.”
And as an aspiring writer, Gyong says that winning the Punzabo has been very encouraging. She said, “This reader’s choice award means so much. The contest provided me with a medium to write about my traveling experience and it makes me feel even better to know my story will be shared with others.”
Help make another aspiring writer’s dream come true by rating all the stories you read on travel BIGO. The top rated article is next month’s Punzabo winner (Punzabo Award rules for Travel Journals). And remember, you can be next!
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