Yunseo Kim Honored As Rotary Distinguished Student of Service

Yunseo Kim, a junior at Los Alamos High School, was honored May 3 as a Distinguished Student of Service by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.  Here she accepts a certificate from Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle as her parents Hyunjoo and Yongho Kim and LAHS teacher Stephanie Mitchell share the moment.  Photo by


The Motto of Rotary is Service Above Self.  To support this, each academic year the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honors “Distinguished Students of Service” in their junior year of high school.  Students are first nominated by their teachers who are asked to select those who:

  • have given positive contributions to their high school and/or in the community, 
  • have a good attitude toward learning, 
  • are good citizens, are respectful of their peers and teachers, 
  • and have good grades, attendance, and classroom participation.

The Club then selects students based on demonstrated spirit of service and exemplification of the Rotary 4-Way Test:  Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build good will and better friendships?  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently selected Yunseo Kim as a Distinguished Student of Service. 

Kim is indeed one who has made service part of her life and is also a well-rounded student. At Los Alamos High School, she is:

  • President of the LAHS Interact Club, Rotary’s youth leadership and service organization
  • Officer for Natural Helpers, a peer-to-peer support program
  • Historian for the Key Club, the Kiwanis youth service organization
  • Member of Link Crew, which assists with freshman orientation
  • Co-President of the Speech and Debate Team, where she is a three-time National Qualifier and State Champion in Dramatic Interpretation
  • A member of Mu Alpha Theta/National Math Honor Society
  • One of two delegates representing New Mexico in the United States Senate Youth Program, a public service, leadership, and education program in Washington, DC in which students interact with US Senators, Supreme Court Justices, and the President  
  • A participant in the Model International Criminal Court.

Kim also volunteers for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), and in association with the Salvation Army, she has assembled birthday bags for children and adults affected by poverty and other challenges, and she is an active member of her church.

Kim is an accomplished pianist and was selected as a New Mexico All-State 2020 Accompanist for the Symphonic Band.  She has taken first place honors in the New Mexico Sonata Competition for the last seven years. 

In her Rotary essay, Kim shared with Rotarians one of the challenges facing today’s youth:  namely, the “marginalized groups of students who were really left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic without any resources to help them.”  To address this, Kim created the Powerful Voices, Powerful Change Project to collect school supplies for refugee children in Albuquerque.  “My school supply drive was definitely able to give some sense of comfort to families who could not afford all the materials on their own, but I also have a desire to do more for the refugee community.  In the years to come, I hope to expand the program I’ve created!  I want my fellow peers and the younger generation to never feel as if their issues are too big or too small for someone to care about.”

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Kim for her service to the youth in Los Alamos. 

Kim is the daughter of Hyunjoo and Yongho KimShe named Los Alamos High School science teacher Stephanie Mitchell as the teacher who has been most influential in her life.