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Jee-Hoon Krska, Ph.D.: Inspiring Healing in Society
March 1 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFree
Dr. Jee-Hoon Krska will be speaking about her 20-year journey which took her from a career in electrical engineering to teaching piano to children growing up in Newark public housing and public schools. Several years ago she wrote:
“‘What’s that?’ my husband asked, pointing at some brightly lit skyscrapers as we sped down the freeway with some friends. We had just moved to New Jersey from California in 1999, and a couple whom we had recently befriended had graciously offered to take us out to dinner. ‘Oh, that’s just Newark,’ came the reply, ‘you don’t want to go there.’ This comment stuck with me — how could the largest city in the state be a place where nobody wanted to go? Why did all of the freeways just skirt around this city?”
“Ever since I moved to the United States as a teenager, I had been struck by this paradox: how could America, with all of its prosperity and promise, also be a place with such suffering, division and indifference? As a poor immigrant from Malaysia growing up in Queens, NY, I had experienced this suffering first hand. Yet here I was now, a successful professional with an advanced engineering degree and a comfortable life in a wealthy suburb, and these questions continued to haunt me.”
“I wondered, ‘Are the rich and poor doomed to separate into camps of mutual misunderstanding and distrust? Is there any hope for alleviating suffering and injustice?”
Jee-Hoon Krska is the founder of Keys 2 Success, a program that seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Newark through music education. She studied piano in the Juilliard pre-college program and at MIT (Ph.D. EECS). She has performed in concerts including at Boston Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, and with Yo-Yo Ma. Dr. Krska spent twenty years in the semiconductor industry. During that time, she also actively worked to improve the lives of the youth in Pennington Court, a Newark Housing Authority (NHA) public housing community that is home to many of the poorest minority residents in Newark, through involvement in a series of projects aimed at fostering their intellectual development and social skills . It was through this experience that she saw firsthand the effects of generational poverty and developed a passion for investing in the lives of youth which ultimately led to her decision in 2016 to work full time with the children of Newark by founding Keys 2 Success.