Remember all the cool stuff you wanted to be when you were a child? Well, Jonny Kim made his dreams come true by becoming a sniper, a doctor, and a NASA astronaut. All by the age of 37.
But… how? Jonathan Kim was born in Los Angeles in 1984 shortly after his parents emigrated from South Korea. It was not an overly auspicious start in life as his father scarcely completed a high-school education, the family opened a liquor store in South Los Angeles after their arrival, and his mother worked as a substitute elementary school teacher while raising Kim and his younger brother.
As an adolescent, Kim had been the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father; in February 2002, after threatening his family with a gun, Kim's father was shot to death in his attic by police.
Instead of going to college, Kim enlisted and became a Navy Seal at the age of 16, which, at the time, was a major disappointment for his mother.
Kim then went on to become an elite Navy SEAL team member and was later assigned to SEAL Team 3. Throughout his military career, Kim completed over 100 combat operations, serving as a Special Operation Combat Medic, a navigator, and a sniper in his two deployments.
And although he took a detour from college after high school, Kim went back to earn his bachelor's degree in Mathematics at the University of San Diego in 2012, with an already impressive military career under his belt.
Kim later realized that he wanted to become a doctor. Following his passion, he graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2016 and became a physician. Even after all his accomplishments, he was still not fulfilled. That was when he decided to reach for the stars. Back in 2017, Kim applied for an astronaut candidacy and was selected by NASA.
With an already rather accomplished career behind him, Kim has now been selected to be a member of NASA's Artemis Mission and could be walking on the moon in 2024.
It will be interesting to see how his life pans out over the next 30 years...