Brian Kim: persistence is no debate

By Katie Lamont, JCamp reporter

The system is broken and Brian Kim intends fix it.

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The socially-conscious 17-year-old from the Los Angeles area is acutely aware of the deficiencies in society that leave people uninformed, ignorant and vulnerable.

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He hasn’t decided whether it will be through journalism, education or law but whatever profession Kim pursues it will be because he know things can be better.

And he started early.

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The high school senior launched a debate team without the support of Van Nuys High school administration. They told Kim there was no funding available for his group. So, he stepped in to coach despite not having an official advisor, club status or permission.

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“I’m trying to give the kids I teach something better,” Kim said. So every Wednesday-thanks to the trust between teacher and student-Kim and his team of ten meet to review techniques and methods he learned at a debate camp at the University of California in Los Angeles. He sometimes spends more time prepping for this debate team than he does studying for his six advanced placement classes.

Kim’s drive to debate began in eighth grade, and has since grown into a anxiety-inducing, but thrilling part of his life, he said.

Many have tried and failed before to create a successful debate team, but it’s his deep sense of responsibility that sets him apart.

That same commitment inspires his work as the managing editor for his school’s paper, The Mirror. He is expected to become Editor in Chief during his senior year.

It is a balancing act to keep both the newspaper and debate team going, but Kim is resolute.

“It’s interesting being a student and a teacher, because I’m still a student myself,” he said.