Congratulations Midn 1/C Kim: Smith-McCool Award Recipient

Francis Kim ’19 was born in Houston, TX as a first generation American to a graduate student
father and a working mother. He grew up living in not only Texas, but also Pennsylvania,
California, and South Korea. From this childhood, he experienced a diversity of geography,
culture, and thought. He met new friends from every walk of life and started to learn how big the
world is and how little he really knew.
Francis lived the majority of his young adult years in Clear Lake, living less than 5
minutes from the Johnson Space Center, and attended the University Baptist Church every
Sunday. He attended Clear Lake High School, where he played in the band and the orchestra,
and was an All-State swimmer and water polo player. He served as captain on both teams. His
senior year, Francis also interned at NASA’s Astronaut Office for 6 months. During middle and
high school, Francis mostly lived with his mother as his father worked abroad. In high school, he
also periodically lived alone when his mother’s visa was disapproved. Although he made a lot of
mistakes, Francis considers his upbringing to have made him stronger.
Following graduation from Clear Lake, Francis attended Texas A&M University for one
year before enrolling at the Naval Academy. He is a Political Science major and is the goalie on
the Men’s Varsity Water Polo Team. At the Academy, Francis was also the Director of
Command Center for the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference, a school manager at the
local mentorship program for at-risk youth called Mids for Kids, a congressman on the Brigade
Honor Congress, and the founder and president of a yearly publication called “The Common
Thread.” In his summers at the Academy, he interned at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau
of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, and was a Service Academy Fellow at the U.S. Institute
of Peace. He is an ACWPC Academic All-American for water polo and was one of the
Academy’s nominees for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship competition (though he ultimately did
not win the scholarship).
Immediately following graduation, he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public policy
at either the University of Chicago, Princeton, or Stanford. He has service selected submarine
warfare and will report to Charleston, SC for nuclear power training after earning his master’s
Francis proudly has one older sister, Lois, who will graduate from Texas A&M’s
Pharmacy School this year. His loving parents are citizens of South Korea, where they live

Smith-McCool Award Lunch