“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I am a gemologist by training. I know a piece of rough looks like any other pebble that gets caught in your shoe - it's the skilled eye and hand of a lapidary that unleash the brilliance, fire and scintillation of the diamond within. Here, I vow to be the lapidary of the world, chipping and polishing rough situations to reveal the beauty inside.

I will soothe the anxious men who come to me for engagement rings. I will mentor difficult underprivileged children even when they spit at me out of frustration. I will bear the financial cost for investing in worthy social entrepreneurship. I will keep painting fences for inner city redevelopment. I will continue to believe though the sufferings around me severely test my faith. I will be honest when everyone feels they need to deceive.

I will never let any pain, hardship, scorn or mockery deter me until my worn and bloody hands find the diamond in everyone and everything that crosses my path. I will be the lapidary of the world.

— Athena Ko