Introducing our 2018 Dragon Fellows!

The Dragon Kim Fellowship program awards community service grants to support motivated high school students to create and manage a program to impact their community. This fellowship is in honor of Dragon Kim, a talented musician, athlete, and scholar who wanted to help others.


We are proud to announce our ten Dragon Kim Fellowship projects and our second annual class of Dragon Fellows.  Please join us in congratulating our 21 new Dragon Fellows:



Sophie Courtney, Yi-An Hsieh All Girls Math League
Avalon Lafosse Art for Relaxation Therapy (ART)
Justin Chao, Raj Parekh, Justin Lin Capture Your Dreams
Katherine McPhie, Milan Narula Code Open Sesame
Varsha Sandadi, Lisa Tang Cookie Lab: Science Behind Cooking
Austin Leehealey Immigrant America
Claire Josey, Toby Fan Saving Seniors’ Stories
Julia Wang, Brandon Calderon STEAMachine
Kimberle Sotelo, Kiarra Machitar The Domino Effect
Scott Wright, Thomas Chiaromonte, Mason Killion, AJ Marsh Water Polo For All


These Dragon Fellows will go through three weekends of intense leadership training. They will also be paired up with mentors with experience in their project area. In the summer, our Dragon Fellows will launch and pursue their projects, supported by a grant of up to $5000. This grant will serve to cover expenses for the project, and potentially also provide a stipend for the summer.

The Dragon Challenge



At our Dragon Challenge event on September 29, our top Four Finalist projects went before a panel of prominent business leaders to compete for a chance to win an additional $5,000 to continue their good work.  Come meet our final Winners!

Applications Due Friday, Jan. 12
Announce FinalistsSaturday, Jan. 20
Applicant Interviews Sat. Jan 27 & Sun. Jan 28
Announce Winners Thur, Feb. 1
Accept by Mon. Feb. 5
1st Leadership Weekend Feb. 24-25
2nd Leadership Weekend March 24-25
3rd Leadership Day April 28
Run Projects June-August
Graduation and Final Presentations Sep 8

*Please note that attendance at every Leadership training event and at the Graduation is mandatory.

You are eligible to apply for the Dragon Kim Fellowship if you are:

  • age 13 and above
  • a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • a Southern California resident
  • ahigh school student
  • not related to anyone serving on The Dragon Kim Fellowship committee

Eligible Southern California counties:

Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Imperial, and Kern counties

  • Leadership
  • Academic Aptitude
  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Commitment
  • Curiosity
  • Resourcefulness
  • Ensure your eligibility
  • Complete the applicationincluding a description of your project
  • Provide 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Provide High School Transcript
  • Finalists: must be available for in-person interview


Part I: Applicant’s General Information (up to three team members, must complete for each team member)


  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone/text number
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Name of School
  • School Address
  • Grade in School
  • Parent’s Name
  • Parent’s Email Address
  • Parent signature
  • Student signature

Please submit separately (for each team member):


  • High school transcript
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: from a non-family member that knows you well (for example, a teacher, coach, church member, youth group leader)


Part II: Short Description of Your Project

  • What is the name of your project?
  • What is the goal/purpose of your community service project?
  • What community are you serving?
  • How many people do you expect to serve?
  • How will your project benefit that community?
  • How did you get interested in this area?
  • How did you come up with this project idea?
  • OPTIONAL: Project timeline
  • OPTIONAL: Projected budget


Part III: Honor Code Statement


Honor Code Statement for The Dragon Kim Fellowship Program: I certify that all the information I have provided in this application is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. Falsification of any information will lead to disqualification from the fellowship program. If selected to receive a fellowship, I give permission for a publicity release to share information contained in my application as well as photo/video imagery of the project. If selected to receive a fellowship, I will provide a summary of my experience to the Dragon Kim Foundation. I understand that some of the moneys going directly to supporting the student may be taxable.  I take full responsibility for all actions related to my project and understand that The Dragon Kim Foundation and The Dragon Kim Fellowship Program are not responsible for my project or its activities. I acknowledge that all decisions are final.  I understand that attendance at all trainings are mandatory, and that The Dragon Kim Foundation reserves the right to revoke the grant and fellowship at any time.


  1. Electronic Signature of Applicant
  2. Name of Parent/Guardian
  3. Parent/Guardian Phone Number and Email address
  4. Date
  • A two week art camp for homeless children living in a transitional shelter
  • A computer class to teach elementary school students how to build a personal computer from individual components
  • A course teaching outdoor survival skills, paired with lifeguarding training and certification
  • A website and app to connect students with peers for academic tutoring

2017 Projects

KEM Creative Studios

Kyra and Emilia ran two one-week summer camp programs for children at a transitional shelter at Alexandria House in downtown LA.  With parents that are either homeless or making the transition to having homes, these kids normally don’t get to spend their summer days in enriching activities.  Kyra and Emilia created for them an arts curriculum that starts by introducing kids to the primary colors, and advances to making Giacometti-inspired aluminum-covered wire sculptures. We watched young Ivan as he learned about how white paint added to bright paint mutes the hues. “I made LIGHT BLUE!” Ivan cried ecstatically.  Seeing the happiness in his smile, we were reminded of the simple and unadulterated joy children feel when they are having fun and learning.

Computers For All

Ruben and Bryan had an idea to teach kids about hardware computer science by helping them experience something most people never get to experience: building a computer from individual components. Together, these two high school seniors developed and refined a curriculum to teach 4th-6th graders in a transitional shelter in Los Angeles’ Korea Town how to build computers in just a few lessons. We watched as Brooklyn, an animated girl with her hair in braids, initially objected to touching the motherboard, too scared to lift it out of its box.  With encouragement from our Dragon Fellow team, Brooklyn ventured to carefully fit the motherboard next to the fans of her computer’s metal casing.  Our Dragon Fellows filled with pride as the hours went by watching the self confidence of their students grow as they learned that they, like every other student present, was capable of building his or her own computer.

Outdoor Opportunities

The four juniors that made up our Outdoor Opportunities team in Pasadena (Austin, Brendan, Matt, and Victor) all share a love for the great outdoors, but had an inkling that experiencing the outdoors was something that didn’t always cross socio-economic boundaries.  To address that, they created a 5 week program designed for high schoolers in the Pasadena area.  In the first two weeks, by hiring a professional lifeguard instructor, this team delivered a free class on lifeguarding, and then paid for lifeguarding certificates for their graduating students.  Now these new lifeguards can earn money to help their families while helping to keep people water-safe.  During the remaining weeks, these four taught outdoor survival skills, sharing fundamentals such as how to purify water in the wild, and how to start a fire using a magnesium block, dry leaves, and a knife.  Despite living close to so many beautiful outdoor areas, most of their students had never been on a hike, so when this team led them on three hikes in the Greater LA area, they successfully accomplished their mission: to bring outdoor opportunities to those in need.

Peer Genius

Miya and Hana came up with a simple and brilliant idea for Peer Genius: “It’s like Uber for tutoring.” Say you’re a high schooler struggling with quadratic equations (or another subject within science, math, or English).  With Peer Genius, you can go online and make an appointment with a fellow high school student who is a quadratic equations guru who will tutor you for free.  Free homework help is key for students who can’t afford to pay expensive private tutors.  On the other side, gurus get to share their knowledge and receive community service hours for sharing their smarts.  Genius!  Over the summer, Hana and Miya learned how to create a website storyboard, set and manage project milestones, and hire and manage developers – amazing real-world experiences for our young entrepreneurs. Read the LA Times/Daily Pilot Article.


The Dragon Kim Fellowship was an incredible opportunity to learn about leadership and entrepreneurship and engage in thought-provoking discussions about how to make positive change in the world.  I met amazing people and feel very inspired to continue working in my community.

– Kyra

The Dragon Kim Fellowship program encouraged me to grow as a leader and a collaborator.  Through business workshops, leadership training, and discussions with other Dragon Fellows, I learned that effective leadership is reflected in both the strength of one’s presence and his/her ability to work with others.


Meet Our 2017 Dragon Fellows