Dr. Kyo “Paul” Jhin, a 1957 graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, is among the honorees who will receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) May 9, 2015, in New York City. The 29th annual Ellis Island Medal of Honor Ceremony will be followed by a gala dinner in the historic Great Hall.
The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the honor and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. Among this year’s 90 honorees are television host Meredith Viera, New York Yankee legend Mariano Rivera and U.S. Representative Ted Poe.
Jhin is the CEO of 3KSoftware USA and executive director of Reborn Veterans Job Initiative. Three U.S. presidents have appointed him to various positions. President George W. Bush appointed him director of the Peace Corps’ Special Initiatives, 2002-09. President George H.W. Bush named him executive assistant to the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, 1990-93, and President Gerald Ford made him a member of the National Advisory Council on Adult Education, 1976-81.
Jhin has received numerous honors during his long and distinguished career, including the Kukmin-Hunchang Dongpaik-Chang, the highest civilian award from Korean President Kim Dae Jung. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Federal Council of Asian Pacific Americans and of Alabama’s Outstanding Young Educator of the Year from the Alabama Jaycees.
Believing that the diversity of the American people makes the country great, NECO seeks to honor and preserve that diversity. It is also committed to the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island. “The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are presented each year to citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic group while exemplifying the values of the American way of life,” according to the organization’s website.
NECO President Nasser J. Kazeminy said, “Each of these honorees represents traits that I admire in great Americans: the vision of a better world for all, the tenacity to overcome challenges and the leadership and imagination to blaze their own trail. And most importantly, they have the humility and self-reflection to appreciate the amazing opportunities that America has given them.”
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