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Alumni Spotlight: Hoin Choi, Library for All

BY Alyssa Webb


My name is Hoin Choi and I graduated from the Human Rights Minor program at UConn in 2010.

I would like to say congratulations to the Human Rights Institute for launching its blog!

My passion for human rights began on the first day of ‘Intro to Human Rights’ in 2006. The issues, ideas and ideals taught and discussed in class kept me awake for many nights. This was the starting point of my involvement in organizations and activities on campus – including Love146 UConn Chapter and Women’s Center Internship – to mobilize students for the advocacy of child-sex trafficking and violence against women.

That same passion persisted even after I graduated and led me to where I am now, at Library For All – www.libraryforall.org. I’m currently the Operations Coordinator at Library For All and I’ve witnessed remarkable progress since I joined last year.

Digital Book World-Hoin Choi

[Hoin (left) and Tanyella (right) at the Digital Book World Conference in NYC in January 2013. This is when Hoin was hired as a full-time staff at Library For All!]

Library For All is a start-up edtech nonprofit based in NYC. It was founded by two amazing women Rebecca McDonald (CEO) and Tanyella Evans (COO) for those who have little or no access to books in the developing world. As a sustainable and scalable solution to the problem, we are building a digital library platform full of educational and inspirational content that can be accessed on low-cost tablets and cell phones via available mobile networks. With the support from the top US publishers, the Stern School at NYU as a research partner, and ThoughtWorks as a development partner, we are launching at Respire Haiti School in Gressier, Haiti. The staff and students are thrilled to be able to read and learn on tablets for the first time!

Haiti Kids with Tablets-Hoin-Choi

[The students of Respire Haiti School sitting around a tablet. They are excited to have receive their own learning devices in fall of 2013]

Ranging from posting updates on our Facebook Page and Twitter to exchanging business cards with investors, my day-to-day role at Library For All is quite dynamic. As a startup we are part of “the most badass co-working space” called The Alley where 85+ startups of all types share skills, ideas and meals together everyday. My daily commute from home to our office is 2 hours each way. But our vision at Library For All wakes me up at 5am every morning.

Photo Booth-Hoin Choi

[Hoin and Tanyella having too much fun with friends at FriendStarter NYC: Kickstarter Preview Party]

My days at Library For All have just gotten more exciting. Two weeks ago we launched our Kickstarter project – http://kck.st/Ze2ACU – to raise $100k to build our first digital library platform and we’ve had great success – reaching halfway to our goal in just one week! I’m currently heading up the PR team as well as the social media team to maximize our visibility to the public and we are already getting some press including Huffington Post article – http://huff.to/11IxXIo. You can also become part of founding this amazing library by backing us on Kickstarter and spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter!

Kickstarter Campaign-Library for all

[Kickstarter Campaign/ Link: https://www.libraryforall.org/]

In his commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs spoke about looking back and connecting the dots of our experiences. Three years ago I wasn’t certain where this passion would lead me. For the past six months of being on this extraordinary journey with Library For All it couldn’t be clearer to me that this place is for me.

Founders Dinner-Library for all

[The interns and volunteers helped to raise $35k on the first day of Library For All’s Kickstarter at the Founder’s Reception NYC: Kickstarter Launch Party]

I’m more than happy to share my experience and answer any questions if you have any so feel free to contact me at hoin@libraryforall.org.

*The HRI would like to thank Hoin for being willing to provide us a view into the life of a post-graduate life working in human rights.  We look forward to more submissions from our talented alumni.  Keep up the great work!*

The views expressed in our blog are not necessarily the views of the Human Rights Institute at UConn.