Emily Wesley, AMP Co-Chair, Mentor
Emily taught English in Korea for 2 ½ years and volunteered at the orphanage that she was from. This experience made Emily realize that she wants to assist children in the adoption process and help adopted children. After returning to Seattle, she joined AAAW in hope to meet others with the same goals, which of course she did. She wants to create a safe community for adopted youth and teens.
Hannah Prange, AMP Co-Chair, Mentor
My name is Hanna Prange and I am a more recent transplant to Seattle over the last three years. I grew up in rural Idaho with my parents and 4 siblings, 3 of which are adopted from Korea and Columbia. As a youth, I attended multiple years of Holt Heritage Camp and have been back to my birth country twice. Each of these experiences along with the help of my own adult mentors has helped me grow and improve my own understanding of adoption. This is my second year participating in AAAW AMP programming and I am looking forward to continuing to help this program grow into an even stronger community.
Beth Van Fossan, AMP’lified Co-Chair, Mentor
Beth began her work with youth as a camp counselor in 1996 and has continued working with youth throughout her career as a social worker. Beth has volunteered and worked at various camps for adoptees including Holt International and KIDS (Korean Identity Development), as a counselor and Assistant Director. Beth received her Master of Social Work in 2008 and began working for the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services in Children’s Administration as an adolescent social worker and ending her time at the Department as a Program Consultant in 2015. Beth is currently a Teaching Associate for the University of Washington in the School of Social Work, as a Field Instructor for the CWTAP (Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program). Beth lived in Korea from 2010-2012, during this time she taught English, located her birth family and started a volunteer program at Emmanuel Orphanage. Beth has a strong commitment to the adoptee community and creating programs to serve the youth and their families. Beth is thankful for the opportunity to be part of the creation of both AMP and AMP’lified programs, with the goal of assisting in healthy identities for young adoptee youth through dialogue, relationships, and education.
Saul Tran Cornwall, AMP’lified Co-Chair, Mentor
Saul took his first steps toward a career as a social worker in 1997 as a JustServe AmeriCorps volunteer. Since then, he has gained professional experience managing youth programs, working at Holt International Children’s Services in the Post Adoption Services Department, conducting home studies for the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services in the Children’s Administration Adoption Unit, and as a mental health counselor and program coordinator for Asian Counseling and Referral Service in the Children, Youth & Families Department. Saul has traveled back to Vietnam three times; his first trip in 2000 with the Holt Motherland Tour. Saul has been a part of the AAAW Mentoring Program since it’s beginning and has enjoyed the community and support AMP/AMP’lified have provided to everyone involved.
G. Claire Mathieson, Mentor
I am currently a foster home licensor with the YMCA of Greater Seattle. I work with therapeutic foster parents from all over Washington to ensure our most behaviorally and emotionally struggling youth are safe and thriving under their care. I was previously an adoption case manager at World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP) in both the China program as well as the United States. Before this, I was an AmeriCorps VISTA for a Seattle social justice nonprofit empowering young people to advocate for their cause. I was also a mentor for a Seattle nonprofit that works to close the Opportunity Divide for disadvantaged young adults. I have only recently become a part of Asian Adult Adoptees of Washington (AAAW) and in less than a year’s time, I have started to deeply understand and connect to a part of my identity that I has been left dormant for decades. Being a part of a transracial and transnational adoptee community creates a sense of belonging for me that I have needed for a very long time. I struggled as a youth and I know I would have greatly benefited from a mentorship program like this. I, as an adult already feel a positive and profound impact from this opportunity and for that, I am grateful.
Maree Ness, Mentor
Maree grew up in Oregon with her older Korean adoptee sister and her two triplet sisters. Since she moved to Seattle in 2008, she has been involved with AAAW as a member. At that time, it was her first chance being part of a community she could deeply relate with. She is excited to be a part of the AAAW Mentorship Program now and hopes to help foster a positive space for younger adoptees. Recently, Maree spent a year living in Seoul, studying Korean, so that she could communicate with her family in Korea, whom she and her triplet sisters reunited with in 2010. In her free time, she enjoys running, attempting to make Korean food, and spending time with her nephews.
Olivia Louko, Mentor
Olivia moved to Seattle in the Fall of 2015 to start an Americorps position at Asian Counseling and Referral Service. She graduated from Knox College (a small liberal arts college in Illinois) in 2014. Growing up in Iowa City, there was not a lot of opportunity to be involved in the adoption community, but she is excited to be getting involved now. Olivia was adopted from China in 1992, and has been back four times since then. The last two times she went, she stayed for extended periods of time to study Mandarin.
Solana Tanabe, Mentor
Solana relocated to the Seattle area one year ago from Sacramento, California where she was raised to attend Seattle University where she is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Strategic Communications with a focus in Global Awareness and a minor in Interdisciplinary Arts- Arts Leadership. Solana is an adoptee from Nanning in the Guangxi Province of China. She has two adopted siblings: one younger brother from Vietnam and one younger puppy sister from the Sacramento SPCA. As a child and teen, Solana spent many summers attending Holt’s Adoptee Camp where she met other adoptees, some of whom she considers lifelong friends, and explored her developing identity- both as an adoptee and a human. After a long hiatus, she served on the Leadership Staff for Holt Camp in 2014 and considers it her reintroduction to the adoptee community that she so enjoyed in her youth. Soon after moving to Seattle, Solana became involved with AAAW and the Mentorship program. She loves being a part of AMP’d and her role to foster and preserve the adoptee community while empowering the mentees to embrace who they are and hope to be.
Mary Richardson, Mentor
Mary is a Chinese adoptee who has has grown up in the Pacific Northwest and holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of San Diego. Since moving back to the Pacific Northwest 2 years ago, she has been involved in numerous organizations as a volunteer and intern helping tutor kids after school, assist with fundraising luncheons, and assist one of the first charter schools in Washington State get off the ground. Mary joined AAAW in June 2016 through a friend’s recommendation and has never looked back. She is excited to be part of the adoptee community in Seattle and contribute her passion and skills to the growing the AMP program. In her free time, Mary enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, photography, good food, movies, and spending time with friends and family.
Kimm Moore, Mentor
Kimm was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted to her family in Woodinville at 4 months old. Being the only adoptee in her family, she joined AAAW in 2013 to meet other Asian-adoptees and connected with the Seattle adoption community. Kimm loves being a mentor, in the AMP program, and feels very grateful to give back to the youth. In her free time, Kimm loves practicing yoga, cooking/baking, blogging, and drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea.
Jed Slagter, Mentor
Jed was born on Jeju Island and was adopted with his twin sister at 20 months. He grew up in the Chicago area with his two other sisters and two brothers. In 2000, Jed enjoyed traveling to Korea with his family through the Korean Ties program. And after moving to Seattle in 2009, Jed joined AAAW where he has enjoyed connecting with other adoptees. Jed also enjoys working in the community, exercising, motorcycling, and learning new things.
Ashlee Meissner, Mentor
It is such a privilege to be involved in AAAW and AMP! I enjoy getting to know people by listening to their unique prospectives. Currently, I am taking prerequisites to become a nurse, live with a crazy cat, and work at a local hospital; life is busy, but life is good!
Chris Carr, Mentor
Chris grew up near Columbus, Ohio with a younger sister who is also adopted from Korea. In 2008, he traveled to Korea with his mom and sister on a Homeland Journey. They saw the modern and bustling capital Seoul, the amazing scenery at Mt. Sorak, and the beaches and ocean at the port-city of Busan. They also spent time with children in an orphanage as well as see the adoption facility Chris and his sister were placed in. During the trip, an event would forever change his life – he met his biological family. Since 2008, he’s visited his family four times, including attending a study abroad program at Sogang University. Chris moved to the Seattle area in July 2014 and has found AAAW to be a wonderful community to be a part of and is grateful for the experiences AMP/AMP’lified has given him. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, video games, and watching the Seahawks and Sounders.