My name is David Chung and I am currently 23 years old. I was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States when I was three years old. I came to New York, and this is the place I have called home for the past twenty years.
I have attended school in New York since I was in kindergarten and for most of my time in secondary school, I never felt different from my U.S. born friends. Since I immigrated when I was only three, I learned English fairly quickly and rarely spoke my native Korean language outside of my home. I pledged allegiance to the U.S. flag every day at school and considered myself more American than Korean.
It was not until my junior year in high school that I learned I was different. As I was applying for colleges and thinking about the financial aid that I would need, I realized that I did not have a social security number. After a talk with my mother, I discovered that I was barred from many of the rites of passage that my friends took for granted, such as driving and having a summer job. It was a confusing time in my life and I wondered whether I even belonged in this country.