2019 Tillman Scholar
William was born in a small town in South Korea and immigrated to the United States as an infant with his mother. He became the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college but did not feel a sense of purpose with that achievement alone. After 9/11, he needed to make a difference. He enlisted in the Navy and became an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, serving overseas disarming improvised explosive devices that frequently killed or injured military and civilians.
He left active duty service, but the drive to serve had not abated so he reenlisted in the Army National Guard. After becoming a Special Operations Medic, he strove to keep pushing forward to practice medicine in a civilian setting. He walked away from a comfortable military intelligence career and spent two years pursuing medicine, completing 80 hours of prerequisites while working two jobs in the medical field to gain more experience with patient care.
William was accepted to the Yale University Physician Assistant Program and plans to continue his service in the National Guard and in the medical community. He intends to work with former special operations medics to work overseas in a volunteer humanitarian capacity. His actions have resonated the words of Gandhi, “to find oneself by losing oneself in the service of others.”