Press Release

The Bush Institute announces recipients of the 2023 Lindsay Lloyd North Korea Freedom Scholarship

$70,000 in funds awarded to 15 North Koreans to pursue higher education

Dallas, TX Today, the George W. Bush Institute awarded a total of $70,000 to 15 students as part of the 2023 Lindsay Lloyd North Korea Freedom Scholarship. Established in 2017, the scholarship is designed to help North Korean escapees and their children pursue higher education and build productive, prosperous lives. 

Administered by Communities Foundation of Texas, the scholarship program selects recipients based on merit and need. Scholarships are used for vocational school, community college, and university as recipients aspire to lead a variety of careers in fields ranging from science and sociology to education, political science, and more. To date, nearly $300,000 has been awarded in the form of 75 scholarships. 

 The 2023 Lindsay Lloyd North Korea Freedom Scholarship recipients include: 

  • S.K.A., who is studying global affairs at Syracuse University. 
  • Min Gyeong Choe, who is studying couple and family therapy at Adler University. 
  • K.S.J., who is studying architecture at Iowa State University. 
  • M.R.J., who is studying biology at UCLA. 
  • M.S.J., who is studying political science at UCLA. 
  • A.K., who is studying operations research and management science at UC Berkeley. 
  • H.H.K., who is studying sociology at the University of Southern California. 
  • R.J.K., who is studying psychology at Chatham University. 
  • Y.M.K., who is studying science at Orange Coast College.  
  • Hyunseung Lee, who is pursuing a master’s in global leadership at Columbia University. 
  • H.L., who is studying theology at Tindale International University. 
  • Seo Hyun Lee, who is studying international affairs at Columbia University. 
  • Seol Lim, who is studying sociology at UC Santa Barbara. 
  • Grace Noh, who is studying communications at George Mason University. 
  • S.O.O., who is studying acupuncture at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine. 

Some of the recipients prefer not to reveal their backgrounds publicly to protect loved ones still living in North Korea.  

The scholarship is part of the Bush Institute’s ongoing work to improve the human condition in North Korea, which aims to expose the suffering of the North Korean people and put their stories on the radar of policy makers and opinion leaders. According to the Refugee Processing Center, 224 North Korean escapees have been admitted to the United States between 2006 and April 2023. 

“As a North Korean escapee and former scholarship recipient myself, I’m deeply inspired by the bravery and determination of this year’s awardees,” said Joseph Kim, Associate and Expert-in-Residence of Freedom and Democracy at the Bush Institute. “It’s an honor to support them as they work to receive an education and live freely in America.” 

The Lindsay Lloyd North Korea Freedom Scholarship Committee reviewed the applications and recommended awards. The Selection Committee members included: 

  • Jieun Baek, Research Project Manager on Technology and Human Rights in North Korea at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy  
  • Sheena Greitens, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin  
  • Thomas Kim, Chief Financial Officer, Smoothie King  
  • Jensen Ko, Managing Partner, AriseN Partners LP  
  • Kenyatta Lovett, Managing Director of Higher Education, Educated Texas 
  • Chris Walsh, Director, Freedom and Democracy, George W. Bush Institute  
  • Anne Wicks, the Ann Kimball Johnson Director, Education and Opportunity, George W. Bush Institute 

Next year’s scholarship application period will open in early 2024. 

For more information about the scholarship and the Bush Institute’s efforts to support escapees and improve the human condition in North Korea, please visit For more information about Communities Foundation of Texas, please visit 


About the George W. Bush Institute 

The George W. Bush Institute is a solution-oriented nonpartisan policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies. Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Bush Institute is rooted in compassionate conservative values and committed to creating positive, meaningful, and lasting change at home and abroad. We utilize our unique platform and convening power to advance solutions to national and global issues of the day. Learn more at