Girl Boss Interview: Imyeong Alice Park
This interview was conducted by Maanasi Shyno, a Dartmouth sophomore interning in Marketing and Communications with Launch gURLs. There have been grammatical edits made to the interviewee’s responses with their permission.
In this series, we talked to several of the girls in our pilot program about their experiences with Girl Boss. This week we interviewed Imyeong Alice Park. We asked her the following questions and these were her answers!
Why did you apply to Girl Boss?
When I first read about this program, my heart was filled with a sudden surge of excitement because it seemed almost surreal that the opportunity I needed and longed for was right in front of my eyes. As a recent high school graduate, I am taking an unexpected gap year as a sacred opportunity to explore my curiosities and the ways I can make a positive impact on the world. Entrepreneurship, which I view as limitless and brave, is one of my greatest interests. I applied to Girl Boss because I believed that it would help me transform this interest into a life-changing passion and profession that I can use to inspire, uplift, and bring necessary changes to society.
Additionally, I longed to meet, collaborate, and build relationships with people from diverse backgrounds all over the world during this pandemic. I wanted to empower other girls and be empowered as we became equipped with necessary professional and life skills. Additionally, I wanted to be exposed to eye-opening business insights with them and be unified with the confidence that we, too, can be entrepreneurs. As a part of this global community, I wanted to not only experience pivotal change in my life, but also witness these changes for the girls I will get to connect to. Last but not least, I wanted to be part of the Girl Boss program because I believe in its potential to not only educate and positively change individual lives, but also our young generations, communities, and the world.
What struggles do women in your community face?
In my community, many married women with kids face barriers constructed by stereotypes and gender roles. These that have been a part of the culture and family traditions passed down and deeply ingrained in South Korean society. Although there have been great, positive shifts in these mindsets over time, the external and internal pressures on women to become housewives while men take on economic opportunities, blocking many women from economic independence. These barriers are not easily crushed for some and can be extremely difficult to fully overcome even after many years. Not having access to economic opportunities due to socially pressured motherly duties blocks many women in my community from financial independence, which in many cases, is their source of freedom.
What problems do you hope to address in your community?
Along with the benefits of technological advancement comes a greater exposure to the violation of privacy, safety, and dignity. The group of people most vulnerable to such online threats in my community are young digital users, particularly children. Children are exposed to the potential dangers of the internet every day without knowing enough about digital safety and how to take precautions. Additionally, many parents are not aware or up to date with what their children do on the internet, so therefore, they cannot effectively help or guide their children regarding safe internet use. From witnessing children as young as first grade use smartphones and social media platforms, I want to address the urgent, vital need for awareness and education regarding digital safety.
What has been the best part of Girl Boss?
Ever since I dealt with cyberbullying and online sexual harassment, I’ve wanted to invest my time in learning about the field of digital safety and take action in some way to make sure other vulnerable online users, especially children, are protected and prepared for such unpredictable threats. Girl Boss has been a great opportunity for me to take action. Working on Girl Boss has been a crucial experience for me to really sit down and thoroughly think about solutions to the lack of awareness that I witnessed children in my community having about safe social media usage. I am extremely excited to continue working on my project and I’m grateful for the push to confront problems instead of sitting around with solutions in my head. Also, my advisor has been a tremendous help by guiding me and sharing feedback, and I am grateful for all the learning I am doing throughout this process.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the Girl Boss program (so far)? How do you hope what you learn through Girl Boss will help in the future?
The most important pieces of information that I have learned so far are facts and statistics about critical issues that women and girls face around the world. They prompted me to think about what I can do with my skills, opportunities, and privilege to contribute in solving these urgent problems.