Kai grew up one block away from Harriman Clubhouse, and joined the Boys’ Club at the age of seven for only 50 cents. At school, he was usually the last kid picked for sports teams, and naturally gravitated towards the arts. Once he joined BCNY, Kai found a place where his interests were celebrated. He joined the glee club and art club, and fondly remembers singing in front of Trustees and enjoying corned beef sandwiches with them afterwards. At the clubhouse, he met Congressman John Lindsay and famous sports figures, which opened up his world.
Around middle school, Kai dropped out of Chinese school to spend more time at the Boys’ Club and fully commit to programs he valued, especially arts and education programs. As Kai says, “At BCNY it didn’t matter what race or religion you were; everyone was accepted.”
Kai credits the Boys’ Club and the education program with his first big break: gaining admittance to the South Kent School in Connecticut. BCNY even provided him with a scholarship. After graduating, Kai attended Wabash College. Later he joined the Navy and served for 10 years before enrolling in Columbia University, where he earned a Masters of International Affairs degree in Banking and Finance. Kai went on to have a successful banking career at JP Morgan Chase.
Now that he’s retired, Kai looks forward to becoming more involved with the Boys’ Club. As Kai says, “If someone gives you something, I believe you need to pay it back.”