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EPISD Student Spotlight: Minseo Kim, Coronado High

Photo of Minseo Kim

(CORONADO HIGH SCHOOL -- Oct. 11, 2021) — Coronado senior Minseo Kim is an outstanding scholar, an accomplished cellist, a student athlete and, even as high-school student, a researcher at a Tier 1 University. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Minseo spends his free time teaching himself the Python computer programming language. Oh, and with a near-perfect SAT score he also is one of only five 2021 National Merit semifinalists in El Paso – all of whom students in EPISD. He is next in our ongoing EPISD Student Spotlight.

EPISD: What are your honors and achievements in high school? 

MINSEO KIM: I am a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, scored 1570 in the SAT, and have won numerous medals in district UIL math meets. I also skipped a total of 2 years of math classes throughout middle and high school. 

EPISD: What activities are you involved in at school? 

MK: I am the founder and president of the Coronado Maker Club, team captain of our school’s UIL math team, principal cello for our school’s symphonic (UIL varsity) orchestra, and in the Coronado UIL varsity golf team. I am also active in the National Honor Society, Key Club, and Model UN. 

EPISD: What do you look forward to most this school year – especially after more than a year of virtual school? 

MK: I’m looking forward to meeting and talking with my friends in person. Most of my outside activities were halted by COVID-19 and I’m happy to be able to go outdoors! 

EPISD: How has being in International Baccalaureate helped you prepare for college and beyond? 

MK: One of the many things IB has helped me realized that community service is very important, which is helping me with my college applications. To help people with math, I became a national math tutor of a free nonprofit organization called Leaders United for Change that organizes student mentors and gives free classes to students. Also, using my strengths in the computer sciences, I run a YouTube channel about COVID-19 information and data. For the past few months, I have been working on a project to use Python for publicly distributable data analysis and visualization, documented in GitHub.  

EPISD: What advice would you give to freshmen? 

MK: While it’s important to prepare for standardized tests and have a good GPA, I personally think that it’s very important to find things you enjoy doing that can help you get through the ups and downs. For example, I have a passion for music, and playing cello has helped me express and understand myself. 

EPISD: How are you preparing for college? 

MK I am preparing for college by pursuing my favorite subjects and doing what I really enjoy, like math and physics. I have had difficulty finding them in school, which is why I do these activities outside of school. For example, I am an assistant researcher to Professor Yun-Pil Shim at UTEP in quantum computing. Also, I was selected for the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics for the Summer of 2021. This is a selective annual international summer program, with about 50 people selected yearly to attend. I also taught myself Python (computer programming language)! Right now, I am preparing my documents for my early decision applications. 

EPISD: Where do you plan to go to college and what do you plan to major in? 

MK: I don’t know for sure where I will be going to college. MIT and Stanford have been my dream schools. If I can make it, I want to major in computer science and research artificial intelligence. 

EPISD: Anything you’d like to add? 

MK: It’s great to be able to see my friends and teachers again, and I hope to have a wonderful year in person! 

Interview by Reneé de Santos