written on 8/14/16On this day, one year ago, we lost two amazing kids. Dragon Kim was one of my students. Justin Lee was getting ready to join his best bud at OCSA in the Wind Studies Program. This is a photo I will treasure forever because it’s the only one I have with Dragon.
This was taken after the last concert of my first year at OCSA. This was a happy moment. When I took this picture there was no way of knowing that one of those great kids would be taken from us.
I learned of the tragedy at the opening ceremony of our new music facility at OCSA. I was going to be conducting some of our students in an open rehearsal to show off our new building. I was pulled aside by our principal and my dear friend Teren. I was crushed. I went through the entire rehearsal knowing what had happened, but couldn’t show it to the students. We didn’t know enough and it wasn’t the right time. It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my life.
I spent the rest of the day crying. I was angry. I was so incredibly sad. I was sad for Dragon and Justin’s families. I was angry that these two beautiful kids didn’t get the chance to live what, no doubt, would’ve been amazing lives.
Dragon had a dream of starting a music program where OCSA students would teach underprivileged kids how to play brass instruments. This kid was a visionary. We made his vision come to life with the amazing strength and support of his loving family. The Dragon Kim Foundation is his legacy and I can’t even begin to tell you how much it helped me heal.
The other picture is special because those are the first group of kids who are living Dragon’s vision. His legacy goes on through these kids, and the countless other kids who will benefit from his vision. The lives of these kids will be better because of Dragon. My life is better because of Dragon. I miss him.