Jenks native becomes South Korean pop star, hopes to inspire young Asian Americans

JENKS, Okla. — A rising K-pop star who is originally from Jenks hopes to become an inspiration for young Asian Americans in Tulsa.

AleXa is becoming a major recording star in K-pop, which is an abbreviation for Korean pop music. She is now selling out concerts and racking up views online.

“As a child, I had an opportunity to perform at some of the local venues in Oklahoma. So, getting used to a lovely Tulsa and lovely Oklahoma audience gave me a good preparation,” said AleXa.

AleXa got into K-pop by watching YouTube videos while growing up in Jenks.

“2008, that was when my best friend first showed me K-pop. Then I fell down that metaphorical rabbit hole. I’ve been in love with it for over a decade now, and that led me to where I am today,” said AleXa.

She may be known as AleXa to her millions of fans, but to her teachers at Jenks High School, she’ll always be Alexandra Schneiderman.

Kevin Hurst oversees the theater program at Jenks High School. “She had a very keen interest in anything performance, whether it was psalm vocal music or theater, she had a very innate sense of that desire to perform no matter what,” said Hurst.

After finishing school in Jenks, AleXa went to Tulsa Community College. From 2015 to 2017, she took part in the college’s theater program before she was signed to a record label in South Korea.

Mark Frank was one of her teacher’s at TCC.

“She played two lead roles, she was in three musicals, and was a great dancer. One of the best dancers we ever had here. She was in the improve troop, she won awards for her acting. So, I sensed that there was something big happening to her, she always wanted to do South Korean dance,” said Frank.

AleXa says she’s grateful to come from Oklahoma and hopes to play a show in Tulsa in the future. All of AleXa’s former teachers say she’s incredibly humble and works very hard.

She says, she hopes she can inspire young Asian Americans in Green Country.

“When I was younger, there weren’t many people in the media that I could turn to, that I could see myself. Now thanks to K-pop, I feel like a lot of young Asian Americans and people that consider themselves similar to me could maybe have someone to look up to in the media. They can be like, ‘I can achieve my dream regardless of what societal norms might be.’”