Kim, who came to the United States from South Korea at age 3, has used her downtown Troy restaurant to offer English classes, job and technology training, and, in some cases, employment to new immigrants and refugees. A graduate of Boston College, with a degree in International Relations, Kim formerly worked with refugees in New York City and Albany before opening her restaurant, which is inspired in part by her parents’ purchase of a 41-acre farm in Cambridge, NY. The farm provides a considerable amount of the food for Sunhees’ dishes. The eatery operates as a mission-based safe space and has worked with new arrivals from places as far away as Sudan, Afghanistan, Burma, and Turkey. Kim stressed to the students the need to pursue their passion and see it through to fruition and to consider ways they may make a positive impact on their community.
Future speakers in the series include Amy Klein, CEO of Troy’s Capital Roots, and Tracie Killar, Director of Albany’s South End Children’s Cafe.