Sambat Kim recently returned to the halls of Hunter High where he used to walk as a student. However, now he walks them as a College Access Advisor. He is creating change and hope in the lives of many.
Kim was one of 15 college advisors to be selected and recognized as an Outstanding College Advisor. This group encompasses 1,000 college advisors across the nation.
The College Advising Corps’ mission is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented high school students to enter and complete higher education.
Kim’s supervisors nominated him to be an Outstanding College Advisor representing Utah, Granite School District and Hunter High School.
“It is rewarding to see my students able to pursue their dreams, get accepted to the college of their choice, get a scholarship, and get the financial aid they applied for,” said Kim.
If students need help submitting college applications, applying for scholarships and financial aid or registering for the ACT and other college entrance exams, he is there to help.
After Kim’s experience as a first-generation student, he knew he wanted to help others navigate through the experience of applying to college and for scholarships.
Kim graduated debt free due to the 35 scholarships he received between his senior year of high school and his senior year of college. He applied for over 100 scholarships cumulatively.
In 2013 Kim graduated from the same stage that the students he is helping will eventually stand. His students go to him to get support knowing that he did all if this not too long ago and he understands the stress that can be associated with it.
Some students have no academic or social support at home and it is important for Kim to be a role model at the school. Kim is able to support students in their last year of high school and help them to navigate the college system.
“They don’t have to go to college. As a counselor you just have to make those one-on-one connections and be there for them. Be the first person to believe in them and what they want to do–be their cheerleader,” said Kim.
Working in Hunter High’s Counseling Center, Kim helps students to make a successful transition from high school to higher education, whether that be a four-year university or a two-year associate degree.
“I will always support them, if it is looking for a job, joining the military or college. I will support them in many ways.”
Giving back to the community and helping students who might be in a similar position was is something that he really enjoys.
“I like helping my community and giving back to the younger generation regardless of status,” he said. “There are always possibilities, and if you work hard, you are able to pursue all your dreams,”