Micaela Kim

As a college student, Micaela Kim was once told by a career advisor that the average person switches careers three times in a lifetime.  Micaela thought to herself, “Those people are clearly misguided!”  Well, now she’s one of them, but realized that it’s not necessarily about being misdirected or sticking to one career.  It’s about following one journey through life, and staying “true to yourself”.  Just as chapters characterize a book, experiences in life distinguish a person.   

Majoring in Communications at Boston College, Micaela received her B.A. in 1993.  From there, she moved to Seoul, Korea to take on her first job as a documentary researcher at Seoul Broadcast System.  After returning home to Oak Brook, Illinois, Micaela joined the Asian American Journalists Association (1995 Chicago chapter treasurer, 1996 chapter vice-president) and continued her broadcast career by working for the Tribune Company’s ChicagoLand Television in 1994, and then at WBBM-TV as a field producer and researcher.  In 1996, Micaela was hired as a general assignment reporter for WBTW-TV in Myrtle Beach, SC where she received the Mark Twain Award for her reporting on a local victim of the crash of TWA flight 800, and was later promoted to Medical Anchor/Reporter.  When Micaela reported on story about a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, another seed was planted: one that encompassed a longtime interest – children.

She moved on from news and returned to Chicago in 1997 to freelance report on youth and education issues for WYCC-TV, a local PBS station.  At the same time, Micaela decided to go back to school to further her interests in communication and children as a pediatric speech-language pathologist.  She enrolled in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at St. Xavier University in Chicago.  When the clinical demands of schooling required her to put her broadcast ambitions on hold, she left her position with WYCC-TV in 1999.  Since receiving her M.S. degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2001, Micaela has worked with children to establish and restore communication and feeding skills at Lutheran General Hospital, University of Chicago Hospitals, Edward Hospital, and within the Illinois Early Intervention system. 

Micaela recognizes that her experience in broadcast journalism helped prepare her for the challenges of becoming a business owner specializing in communication disorders.  She is now self-employed at her private practice, Smiling Star Speech & Language, in Hinsdale, Illinois.  She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

Micaela was born in Seoul, Korea and emigrated to the Chicago area in 1971 with her parents and two brothers.  She now lives in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, near to her parents, brothers, sister-in-law and, most importantly, her niece and nephew. 


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