Student overcomes adversity to earn Medal of Inspiration

Joyce Chung, a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, received the Medal of Inspiration Award, which is given to a Beta Alpha Psi student member who has experienced extreme hardship and demonstrated an unusually high level of success despite that adversity. It includes a $5,000 cash stipend.

Chung and her family moved from South Korea to the United States when she was an infant. When Chung was 10 years old, her mother died from breast cancer, requiring her to help her father by taking on household responsibilities, including cooking, cleaning, and caring for her three younger brothers. When Chung was 15, her stepmother died from brain cancer, pushing her back into the role of caring for her family. As a result, Chung struggled through high school.

She enrolled at UNC Charlotte so she could commute from home, but working to help her father with bills and taking care of her younger brothers was challenging, so she took a two-year break. She planned to move to Raleigh, N.C., and attend North Carolina State University to complete her college education, but her father soon also died from colon cancer.

At 23, Chung became the legal guardian of her younger brothers, and she continues to be their primary caregiver while being reenrolled at UNC Charlotte.

Chung served as her BAP chapter's mentorship chair and was recently elected vice president of operations. She just completed an internship, has accepted an offer for another internship with a Fortune 500 bank, and intends to earn her CPA certification after she graduates in May.

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