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  • Deuk Lee

Quick interview with David Kim, co-founder of Catalyst Coalition.



Q: How was Catalyst Coalition founded? A: My friend Jin owns a home in Duluth and Chesney Elementary School is his backyard.  When he found out that Gwinnett County struggled with low literacy rates, he contacted me and we approached Chesney to get involved. Our organization helps those with diverse backgrounds do better with education, jobs and civics through better literacy, and teaches them to give back.  We are tackling the literacy deficit head on with a comprehensive strategy that involves families, different generations, community members, and partners.   Q: What is Catalyst Coalition about? How are you involved with the organization? A: Catalyst Coalition is all about immigrants helping immigrants and the underserved to do better through literacy. Jin and I are leading a team of volunteers to help students read better and for parents to be involved. We are thrilled that families are starting to learn together. Kids are teaching the parents too! Jin and David are also reaching out to community stakeholders to get engaged. For instance, Landmark at Bella Vista Apartment Homes has donated their racquetball court to be repurposed for a learning center. Q: Tell me about yourself and Jin. A: Both of us started out as limited literacy kids who were grateful for the help we received and wouldn't be where we are without it. We went on to work in ministry to work with students and invest in them. We found out it was imperative to work with students in-between Sundays, laying the groundwork for nonprofit work. Now we are working on engaging those same church kids to learn to be involved outside the walls. Q: What is the "Joy to Give" fundraising event and why is it important?

Joy to Give plays a crucial role in raising funds so that we can implement what we've come to believe in, but we also discovered that literacy is a complex problem with lots of layers.  So we quickly realized that our organization is just a piece of the puzzle and we've decided to invite the other missing pieces so that we can figure out a way to come together. We also want the average person to also learn how they fit. There are lots of kids and families out there who need our help, and literacy is one of those investments that can give back generationally.

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