Hi, I'm John Lee

What's going on everyone? I figured I should introduce myself a little bit and give you guys a little insight into my life and who I am!

My name is John Kwangho Lee and I was born and raised in a great town known as Galloway Township in South New Jersey. I grew up with my mom, dad, and brother Paul who is 6 years older than me. My parents, God bless them, were both born in South Korea and moved to the United States in the 80s to give my brother and me a better future with more opportunities.

 The Lee Family (Myself, Dad, Mom, Brother; April 2017)

The Lee Family (Myself, Dad, Mom, Brother; April 2017)

 Brother, Mom, and Dad (May 2017)

Brother, Mom, and Dad (May 2017)

We spent a lot of time at church and I spent a lot of time playing sports and video games. Growing up was tough for me. Not knowing much of my Korean heritage and struggling with bullying and Asian stereotypes wasn’t ideal, but it helped shape me into who I am now. In high school, things turned around when I went on a retreat called Lead for Diversity. After that, life just seemed a lot brighter and if you want to hear more about it, shoot me an email or comment below and I’d love to chat about it =]

 St. Thomas of Villanova Church

St. Thomas of Villanova Church

When I was 18, I started a new chapter in my life at Villanova University. I studied as a mechanical engineer and I am so grateful that I wasn’t just restricted to my studies. I was fortunate enough to get into an all-male a Capella group known as Vocal Minority. I know what you are thinking. It was not meant for just minorities! It’s a play-off of Silent Majority and it just so happened that about half the group identified as being a minority. Music has always been a passion of mine, I played violin for 15 years and the clarinet for 4. I also danced as my outlet. So naturally, along with a Capella, I joined the Singers, Villanova All- Male Choir and also The Superlatives for a semester, an all-inclusive dance group on campus. I also took up a new hobby/business during my sophoromore year as a freelance photographer (I took the photo to the left)!

Outside of the music world, I had the opportunity to join Phi Sigma Pi; a co-ed National Honor Fraternity. Now that organization is what I call a brother hood. Shout out to the Villanova Epsilon Tau Chapter!

Lastly, I got really involved with Campus Ministry and retreat work. I ended up leading a retreat known as SEARCH and it brought me back to my years in high school. My passion for people and hearing the stories of other people… of new people just really resonated with me. My flaming passion for connecting with people burned brighter than ever.

I spent a wonderful four years at Villanova and am blessed to have been a part of the graduating class of 2017.

 Group picture with my Freshmen class

Group picture with my Freshmen class

At 22, I graduated as a Mechanical Engineer with a Business and Mechatronics Minor. Rather than jumping right into the working world, I found a calling to venture and commit to Post-Graduate Service volunteer work after working with Campus Ministry. I found myself with the Precious Blood Volunteers: a wonderful and loving organization based in Missouri with volunteer placements in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, Illinois. I served at a Cristo Rey High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Never did I think I would enter the teaching world, but I am blessed to be teaching at this high school for six months. I taught and assisted with Algebra I, Algebra II, Intro to Photography, and Intro to Engineering. After school, I was able to help with the Robotics Team and serve as the Assistant Coach to both the Varsity and Junior Varsity Women's Volleyball Teams. GO PUMAS! 

Since being there and working with the students, I’ve wanted to share and connect with even more people. I brainstormed a bunch of ways I could pursue that goal and I came across the idea of podcasting and felt that it could create that bridge! And, so there I was, in my room in Kansas City, one microphone, one laptop, and limitless hope for the future.

As we all know, all good things soon come to an end and my time at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School ended in December 2017. It was a hard "good bye", but it was also an exciting "hello" to the next chapter in my life. 

In January 2018, I started my new full-time job as a Mechanical Engineer for Harris Corporation down in Melbourne, Florida. Adjusting to a full-time job and living on my own has definitely been a challenge, but it's been an incredible opportunity for growth. I don't really know what lies ahead of me, so for now, I will just focus on loving life.

If you want to know anything else about me, don’t hesitate to reach out at john@startingwithastory.com or the comments below!

Stay Safe, Stay You =]

John Lee