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SJP Senior is Commended Student in National Merit Scholarship Program

Kai For Web 2

A Saint John’s Prep senior is being honored as a Commended Student in the 2022-23 National Merit® Scholarship Program. Kyumin “Kai” Kang is the son of Sun Hye Jung and Sang Yoon Kang of Seongnam near Seoul, South Korea. Kai is a stage manager and composer in the Saint John’s Prep Theatre Department. Kai is also a member of the SJP Saint Michael Hall resident council and a class ambassador for the student services department. Kai is a varsity member of the Prep Esports team.

Kai scored in the top 50,000 scorers of the more than 1.5 million students who took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 34,000 students across the nation are being honored as commended scholars for their exceptional academic promise. Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some are candidates for other special scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

Kai appreciates learning about the Benedictine values at Saint John’s Prep. “Every day I am reminded of the Benedictine values. They are mentioned during prep talk, brought up by teachers, randomly written somewhere on campus, etc. Living in a dorm where I am forced to mingle with people that have very different lifestyles and values, I realized how important the Benedictine values are in our lives, especially hospitality and community. Having a hospitable attitude and caring about others make your life significantly easier and everyone happier. I will carry these values for the rest of my life.”

Kai appreciates the Prep community because of of the school’s inclusive community. “I think the best part of Prep is the community and its inclusiveness. We have a very diverse population, and our school does a great job respecting and including all of them. Also, compared to other institutions, the students and faculty are very close, and I think that contributes to building a stronger community. And within that community, I feel very comfortable.”

Kai says he’s grown as a person and a leader during his time as a student at Prep. He serves on the Saint Michael Hall Council, a student group that helps govern the residence hall and create community building events. Kai has been one of the main planners for “Hall Parties,” house parties for day and resident students.
“Back in Korea I would’ve never thought I could actually throw a party with more than a hundred people attending or make soundtracks for live theatre. My journey at prep has been a process of finding my true self and nourishing it.”

The oldest secondary school in Minnesota, Saint John’s Prep is ranked as the top Catholic school in the state, in the top 25 Catholic schools in the country, and among the top 5% of all private schools in the United States. To learn more about our rankings visit