Congratulations to Grace Querido, Mei Vader and Grace Rafferty — our three 2020 Adoptee Scholarship winners!
This year, we asked applicants to submit a creative work based on the theme, “A Portrait of Me: An Adoptee.” They each won a $500 scholarship.
For my piece I decided to paint the different facades of my identity. Growing up in a predominantly white town, it was rare to see other Asian kids let alone Korean kids with white parents. Because of that, I attended a Korean adoptee camp where I met other families that looked like mine, which was a really influential experience. On top of race, my religion made me special because I was usually the only Jew in class. I took my individuality as an opportunity to educate my classmates on adoption, Korea, and Judaism. I included my three different names because they’re the foundation from which I built the rest of my identity. I am fortunate that my parents took us on vacations because I learned I loved to scuba surf, and travel which I hope to continue in the future. The paw prints represent my love for animals and the volunteer work I did at a shelter. My artistic side is shown through my love of Broadway and painting. I was also able to express my athleticism through my high school’s cheerleading team. This painting is the perfect visual representation of who I am.
My name is Grace Rafferty. I wrote a song for my submission. Originally, I was going to write solely about myself and my own experiences, but it soon morphed into a song for my mom in thanks. I began thinking of this new normal we live and the changes college will bring and I couldn’t help but write how I felt about my mother. Through many ups and downs of life, the one constant has been my mother’s devotion and love for our different family. As a single mother of two adopted children, she made so many sacrifices for us to succeed and do what we love. Being aware of the life I could have very well ended up with, I feel nothing but gratitude and privilege for the life I’ve been given through adoption. I hope you enjoy it.