Like father, like son

A Patriot legacy

Like father, like son

Young Jae Ro chose to follow in his father’s footsteps by applying to George Mason University this year. His father, Mr. Jackie Ro, graduated with a master’s in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in May 2016 at the Fairfax Campus and is currently serving as a government official at the Blue House, primarily engaged in ensuring the safety and security of the President and state officials. Young Jae enrolled as a business major at Mason Korea in 2019.

According to Young Jae, he applied to Mason Korea because of his recollection of the lively campus at Fairfax. His father also spoke to him about the university’s potential. “My father would always say that George Mason University is the fastest growing public university, located right next to Washington D.C., with incredible potential for the future.” Before applying, the pair visited the Korea campus in Songdo, which helped Young Jae make his final decision.

As a government official, Mr. Jackie Ro works with many different interest groups. He attributes his ability to effectively perform his role to his major. “My major, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, has contributed immensely to my role as a mediator between various parties within Korea with conflicting opinions and interests. It has helped me present constructive alternatives as well as peaceful solutions.”

Mr. Jackie Ro takes great pride in being a Patriot and holds onto fond memories of his experience in Virginia. He says, “George Mason is a place with great diversity and integrity, comprised of students of many racial backgrounds, creating a dynamic yet harmonious environment to really implement students’ frontier mentality.” He is overjoyed to share this “identity” with his son. “I was so excited and happy when I heard my son was accepted, as if it had been my own college admission,” he said. “We could even be the first father and son alumni at George Mason Korea.”

The father-son duo considers their commonality an opportunity to connect on a unique and personal level. Mr. Jackie Ro has witnessed a positive change in the deepening of their relationship and he is not alone in this opinion. “SCAR and BUS, they are two different majors, but the fact that my father and I are able to study at the same university is very gratifying,” Young Jae shared. “We can talk about our school’s overall direction or changes and discuss my future path together. He gives me meaningful advice.”

As an alumnus, Mr. Jackie Ro encourages his son to use his knowledge, skills, and experiences gained at George Mason to build up those in his community. His advice for his son is this: “The environment you are in is influential but not absolute. The result of that influence depends on personal will and decision. My son, trust your strengths and believe in your potential. If you strive for positive change, small but incremental transformation will surely lead to a successful and worthwhile life with no regrets.”