GET TO KNOW VIN KO

Whether it’s through traveling the world, serving on numerous leadership boards, his membership in the St. Louis Curling Club (yes, St. Louis has a club for the ice sport played with stones and brooms) or the fact that he came to Ladue Schools as a high schooler, Vin Ko brings a unique perspective to his position on the LEF Board. “The Ladue School District is a special place for me,” says Vin. Even though he grew up in the district, his parents opted to enroll him in the desegregation program, where he attended a public school outside of the district from kindergarten through tenth grade. His junior year, he transferred back to Ladue Horton Watkins High School, which he says had a profound impact on him. “The opportunity provided me with a lot of perspective. Though my time at Ladue was short relative to my classmates, it had a profound impact on my career path and instilled a passion in me for community development.”

Vin has taken that passion and made a career of it. After graduating in 2005, he attended college at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he earned a political science degree. He came back to St. Louis in 2010 and is currently a Senior Program Manager at the St. Louis Mosaic project, a regional initiative that is part of the World Trade Center—St. Louis and the St. Louis Economic Development Project, focused on growing the region’s foreign-born population and economy. “As Senior Program Manager, I ensure the success of Mosaic's targeted programs by managing and supporting many groups that fall under its umbrella, including over 700 Mosaic Ambassadors, high-tech and neighborhood entrepreneurs, newcomer job seekers, and international student retention initiatives in St. Louis.”

Vin’s job is not the only thing that keeps him busy and involved in the community. “I started a local pick-up soccer organization known as St. Louis Pick Up Soccer, which grew from 40 people to over 4,000 members playing all over the region,” Vin says. He has been a member of the St. Louis Emerging Leaders Program and served on numerous boards, including the TEDxGatewayArch Leadership Board, the St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation Executive Board and the Downtown STL Inc. Board of Directors. He credits his inspiration for being involved with such a diverse swath of causes to his experience at Ladue Schools. “The Ladue School District is surprisingly diverse and houses some of the most passionate and dedicated teachers I have ever seen,” he says. “There are so many of my fellow graduates working to make the St. Louis region better. It is exciting to see how the district continues its commitment to providing resources and opportunities for students to excel not only in college but for their future careers.” The LEF Board feels fortunate to be a beneficiary of that commitment through members and alumni like Vin.