Born in Kaesong (now in North Korea) in 1925, Mrs. EulSoon Hwang, youngest of two siblings, attended Holston Girls’ High School in Kaesong, during the time of which when education was a privilege generally reserved to the men of upper-class. The very beginning of the Holston School was a Sunday school organized by the American missionaries but it grew to become a premier educational institute for young women when Mrs. Hwang was matriculated. Mrs. Hwang still has a fond memory of her days at Holston: “I was not the best student but I NEVER missed a day of school for four straight years.”
The passion to care for the underprivileged that was fostered by the Methodist missionaries at Holston has guided Mrs. Hwang throughout her life. Mrs. Hwang became a caregiver to her daughter from the first day she set her foot in the United States. The love and sacrifice that Mrs. Hwang exhibited for her child did not stop there but eventually found their way to serve a larger group of people: the senior community in Orange County.
Quiet yet energetic is the way Mrs. Hwang helps and cares for the community, and her graceful force has been recognized by many of her friends, neighbors, and staff in Community Garden Towers where she has been a wonderful example of successful aging since 1992.
Since 1989, Mrs. Hwang has been an active member of the Orange County Korean American Senior Association where she has served in a wide array of capacities: ranging from cooking, cleaning, decorating, organizing holiday events to raising funds for various activities, all of which were tailored to the empowerment of senior citizens. On major holidays like New Year’s Day and Christmas, Mrs. Hwang and OCKASA prepare over 300 meals to feed any and all the seniors who pay a visit to their center. On May 9, 2013, Mrs. Hwang received an “Outstanding Citizen” award from One Heart Women’s Club in Orange County for her tireless volunteer work which spans over 22 years.
Mrs. Hwang still drives at her advanced age of 89. As a matter of fact, she is an excellent driver and her driver’s license was recently renewed for another five years. She plans to visit nursing homes at least twice a month just like the way she has been doing it for past two decades. Her hobbies include embroidery and knitting. In 2013 alone, Mrs. Hwang knitted and donated more than two dozens of wool blankets and scarves to a local nursing home. Mrs. Hwang is a proud mother of three children and enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren.