Also-Known-As is thrilled to announce the winner of its inaugural Adoptee Excellence Scholarship. We received fifty-six applications from across the country at a tremendous level of quality. Candidates were internationally adopted at various ages, from countries including China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Korea, Latvia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. We were moved by young adoptees who have pursued personal and academic excellence, distinguishing themselves at school, work, and in their communities. We were touched by reading their stories – making positive decisions and pushing forward through tremendous personal circumstances; demonstrating compassion for peers and others in need within their community; collaborating in amazing ways that reached beyond simple leadership; and engaging others while creating new programs and opportunities to address people’s unmet needs.
Comprised of international adoptees, members of the Also-Known-As scholarship committee carefully reviewed each application to find candidates that best exemplified the scholarship’s mission – to honor an adoptee undergraduate student whose integrity, drive, and leadership has led them to serving others while pursuing a life of purpose and significance. This process proved to be extremely thoughtful and thorough; furthermore, the committee sought out applicants who, while facing and exploring their own adopted and racial identity, also have used their unique experiences to help others find their own voice and place.
Please join us in congratulating our 2019 Also-Known-As Adoptee Excellence Scholarship winner – Darci Siegel! A rising senior at Vassar College, Darci was adopted from China when she was 11 months old. Acutely aware of how her own story is grounded in gender-based policies, she has held actor, activist, teacher, writer, and community organizer roles for various causes she feels passionate about, including creating inclusive safe spaces for women and people of color on her college campus, and fighting injustices against women and children on various city, state, national and international platforms. This summer Darci will be visiting China with her orphanage “sisters” and documenting her experiences. She will also be writing her senior thesis on transnational adoption, focusing on transracial and transcultural identity, and exploring the cultural, political and social identity of female Asian adoptees in the United States.
Congratulations, Darci! We applaud the example you set for adoptees across our country and wish you all the best for the years ahead. The world is awaiting you… and Also-Known-As will be rooting for you every step of the way!
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