Meet the 2018 Adoptee Scholarship Judges!

We are so excited to announce this year’s Holt Adoptee Scholarship judges: Angela Tucker, DANakaDAN and Natalie Kim! They will review the essays, videos, songs, dances and all other creative submissions sent in by Adoptees in response to the prompt, “To My 10-Year-Old Self Re: Adoption…” (Learn more about the scholarship below!)


Angela Tucker

Angela Tucker is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE.

The Adopted Life ( began as a personal blog that allowed Angela to process publicly her emotions and experience as a transracial adoptee; a means by which she hoped to build a community of other adoptees growing up in closed adoptions. Since its launch in 2009, The Adopted Life has grown in readership and purview, and is now the name and platform for The Adopted Life miniseries. Angela’s work has catapulted her into her becoming a sought-after keynote speaker for adoption and child welfare-based organizations. She was recently named “Seattle’s Smartest Global Women.”

Elements of her story have also been featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360,  Huffington Post and the Washington Post. Angela works as the Director of Post-Adoption Services at Amara, where she is piloting a new adoptee mentorship program.




DANakaDAN (Dan Mathews) is an alternative hip-hop artist based in Los Angeles, CA. As a Korean Adoptee, he produces content that chronicles his experience with self-identity and adoption. This has included a full-length album called “Stuntman,” and a documentary series detailing his very personal journey meeting his biological family, including an identical twin brother he never knew about (who also raps). He’s been featured on Huffington Post, NPR, the BBC, DramaFever and Hulu and collaborated with the likes of Wong Fu Productions, Clara C and David Choi. DAN also works as the lead content creator and producer at ISAtv (International Secret Agents), a YouTube network founded by Far East Movement + Wong Fu Productions.


Natalie Kim

Natalie is a dynamic and prolific comedic actress. She is known for her comedy webisodic, SuperTwins! and her interview show, It’s A Draw With Natalie Kim (in partnership with Frederator [Adventure Time, Power Puff Girls, Blue’s Clues]).  She also wrote and voice acted in her animated series, Kimchi Power (​

TV credits include The Blacklist, Law & Order, Time After Time and a recurring character on Madam Secretary.

Born in New York City and raised in Maryland and Long Island, New York, Natalie credits her being adopted for as the reason for her inclusive world-view and career success. She shares, “I grew up being different, yet always somehow fit in being very uniquely me. It’s what helped me thrive as an actress because I don’t pigeonhole or put limitations on myself.”


This year’s scholarship prompt is To My 10-Year-Old Self Re: Adoption…” And we invite all Adoptees graduating from high school this year or those who currently pursuing higher education to participate. If your submission is selected, you will be one of three adoptees who will receive a $500 scholarship to use toward any university, trade school, technical training program or other educational pursuit.

Examples of submissions could be a creative video, illustration, musical composition, photo or series of photos, written essay of 1,000 words or fewer, or filmed lived performance — such as an original song or dance. For non-essay submissions, please include a brief artist statement describing your piece (200 words or fewer).

All submissions can be sent to Steve Kalb at

Submissions are due by July 1, 2018

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