We are excited to introduce the judges for our fifth annual Holt adoptee scholarship 2023 contest! This opportunity is open to any adoptee (domestic or international, adopted through any agency) who is a high school graduate planning to enroll — or currently enrolled — in a higher education program (i.e., a university, trade school, technical training program or other eligible educational pursuit).
To apply, please send your contact information to us along with an artistic expression responding to the following prompt:
“Dear Birth Family…”
Learn more about the prompt guidelines and how to submit an entry on this page. Below, read about each of the 2023 Holt Scholarship Contest judges!
Emilee is the waiting child case manager for Holt’s child advocacy and family engagement team. She mainly works with Colombia, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Africa. Emilee advocates for children with complex needs to join loving, permanent adoptive families through adoption. She also supports potential adoptive families as they work within the waiting child program. Emilee’s experience as a transnational, transracial adoptee, combined with her formal education and years of experience directly supporting individuals with disabilities, has allowed her to develop a passion for adoption and children with special needs. Outside of her professional life, Emilee is a mother of two with a love of animals, sunshine, art, nature, good food and good books.
Carmen was born in Brazil in the mid-1980s and adopted by a single mother. Her adoption was closed, so no information was given to her adoptive mother about her birth family. As she grew up, she wanted to know any information she could about her birth family and the reasons she was placed for adoption. After many years of obstacles and dead ends, Carmen had a breakthrough. A year later, she and her mother traveled to Brazil to reunite with as many birth family members as possible. Carmen says it was the most magical, emotional, intense, eye-opening day of her life. Since then, she has met a great many other adoptees with unique stories of their own. It has become a mission and true joy for her to connect with other members of this community. Carmen is proud and honored to be the adult adoptee community outreach coordinator for Holt. She brings her personal experience, the lessons and stories shared from fellow adoptees, an understanding of and appreciation for diverse perspectives, and a passion for highlighting the needs and experiences of the adult adoptee community.
Contact Carmen at [email protected].
Brooke Loomis lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania – the self-proclaimed chocolate capital of the world! Here, the air smells of chocolate and cows are in abundance. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 2020 with a degree in healthcare studies. As a transracial adoptee herself, she dedicated much of her studies to the intersectionality of adoption, mental health and identity. She currently works as the waiting child coordinator on Holt’s child advocacy and family engagement team. In her role, she helps to advocate and seek families for children with special needs in Thailand, Taiwan and China. Brooke, in her free time, enjoys being outside (when it’s warm), reading, exploring new places, eating good food and watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Elliot Bliss is a Korean adoptee and grew up in Oregon. He currently lives in Eugene, Oregon where he is the post-adoption programs lead at Holt International. In his role, he creates, implements and oversees programs and resources for all adoptees. He also is the camp director for the 2023 camp season of Holt Adoptee Camp, a summer camp located in Wisconsin, Oregon and New Jersey. Holt Camp serves adoptees and helps them safely explore their adoptee and racial identity while forming a community with others who have similar lived experiences. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, finding a new and fun restaurant to eat at and relaxing at home with his two cats.
Each of the judges is looking forward to seeing your scholarship entries! Submissions for the 2023 Holt Adoptee Scholarship Contest are due by July 1, 2023.
Now Accepting Holt Adoptee Scholarship Submissions!
All domestic or international adoptees (adopted through any agency) may participate in the contest. Three adoptees will be awarded $500 towards an educational pursuit of their choice.