Steve Seo

Country of Origin:

Korea

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

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Steve struggled with employment when he first came to Canada. Once he became successful, he decided to give back to his community in British Columbia.


Bio

Life insurance agent for 28 yrs.

President of Korean Society of Great Vancouver 1993

Story

I am a Christian.

My motto is: be a good Canadian. Moreover, share and give to others what I have.

My name is Sang Bin Seo. Most of the time I use my nickname, Steve. I came from Korea in 1975, January. The main reason was that I was the first son of a big family. Traditionally, in Korea or when you are in Asia, the number ones and twos support the whole family. But in Korea by myself it was hard to support my whole family, so I came to Canada by my elder sister, who supported them for thirteen years in Korea.

First, about six months, I struggled because Vancouver is the rainy season in winter, and it was hard to get a job. So about one month after, I got a job with a service company. It was $2.25 an hour and a graveyard shift. But a few months after I found a job as a furniture repairman, but it was quite hard work for me because I didn’t have the experience in Korea to repair furnitures.

As you know, with that salary it was hard to save money. Then I bought submarine sandwich shop downtown, but unfortunately it went bankrupt because I didn’t have experience. Moreover, the business was quite slow, and one day the landlord changed the locks, so I lost everything.

Later, I started as a life insurance agent, because some people advised me to be a realtor or a life insurance agent. But at that time, the interest rate was quite high, and the real estate market was slow, so I started with a life insurance agent. It was 1985, August 10th.

For the past twenty years, I have worked for the Korean community or Canadian society. Number one, I was the president of the Korean Society in BC, 1993. Before, I organized the BC NDP sponsoring some committees. I went to Korea with the Premiere, Mike Harcourt on a trade mission, and I was on the Board of Directors for a Korean languages schools and Korean businessmen’s committee, and for many other organizations I was on the Board of Directors. In 1994 and 1995, I was a member of the Multicultural Advisory Council in BC, nominated by the Premiere. So I participate in many other ways in Canadian multicultural society.