Jane Kim on Finding her Spaces of Faith and Culture at Wheaton

Jane Kim ’21 is currently Co-President of the East Asian Student Association (EASA), the Secretary for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact’s Interfaith Intern (SJCI), and a Lead Residential Advisor for the YMC quad.

“With IVCF, my parents encouraged me to reach out before I even got to campus – I think I messaged them on Facebook.” 

Kim described meeting with Rebecca Johnson ’19, the President at the time, and slowly beginning to find her space within the club. Johnson described slowly getting to know Kim, saying, “It would be hard to find a kinder person,” characterizing her as, “amazing, funny, creative and insightful.”

“Faith had always been a big part of my life, with my dad being a pastor, but being in IVCF allowed me to meet all these people who had come to faith on their own terms. There isn’t just one way to be Christian, and it’s wonderful to connect with all these people who share a connection to faith and create all these spaces to talk about our personal contact with the religion,” said Kim. 

Kim explains that she linked to this in her application to be the Interfaith Intern. She took on the role in the first semester of her junior year, after having worked for and with SJCI in several other capacities. 

“I wanted to focus on all these misconceptions that people seem to create when they realize you’re a certain religion. I think the Interfaith Council becomes really important here, this really great platform where people from so many different groups and religions come together to support each other.”

Kim talked about the council as a platform to break stereotypes and explore Wheaton’s religious diversity, referencing events where people come together to discuss topics like sexuality that span individuals that belong to every religion. She described how she believes almost every religion reflects certain values, certain similarities, and she enjoys the Council’s role as a supportive group for every faith group on campus. Caleigh Grogan, the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact’s Interfaith Engagement Coordinator said, “Jane is one of the most thoughtful and dedicated people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She is extraordinarily kind and consistently seeks out opportunities to support and improve her community here at Wheaton and beyond.” 

Kim is also currently Co-President of EASA. Delaney Winegar ‘21, the club’s Social Media Representative, says of Kim, “Jane leads with respect, understanding, patience and passion. These qualities – over my years of knowing her – have made her a remarkable leader. Jane is dedicated and puts her all into everything she does. Through EASA’s meetings and events, we [the eboard] are able to experience the passion and fun of learning about East Asian culture and hope to share that passion and enthusiasm with our members. Without Jane’s ability to bring us all together, EASA wouldn’t be what it is now.” Clara Reyes ‘22, Treasurer and Marketing Representative, joked about Jane’s “hella mom vibes,” then stated, “Jane strikes the perfect balance between strong leadership and being super understanding and caring. She is one of the busiest, most hard-working people I know! EASA is very lucky to have her ♡.”

Kim described how EASA had been an integral part of her college experience, given that she had been a member from her very first year, taking on the executive board position of Secretary in her sophomore and junior years. Kim touches on the club’s role as a platform for beginners to learn more about her own culture as well as other Asian cultures, mentioning her favorite events, the Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival, and her hope that the latter will continue to be an annual event even after she graduates.

Jane Kim ‘21, far left, with other members of the 2019 EASA executive board.