Grace was born in South Korea. At 3 years old, she was abandoned at the local market and orphaned. She experienced homelessness and was completely alone in the world. At about 5 years old, she immigrated to the US in a small town in the Midwest where a Japanese and white couple had planned to adopt her. After 2 years, because of the lack of understanding and education about the challenges that adopted children, especially older children, face, the couple gave her up to the foster care system and she was eventually adopted into a multi-racial family of nearly 20 adopted children and white parents.
Her experiences as an immigrant, foster child, person of color in a very white community, and also her very difficult experience as an adoptee, influenced her narrative of self-rejection of her Asian identity, and her constant pursuit of finding “white belonging” for over 25 years and never achieving it.
In 2020, Grace experienced the critical self-awakening, and it fueled her to find herself and to start loving and accepting her Asian heritage. Grace was not seeing representation of herself. Adoptees, especially ones who have experienced foster care, multiple homes, and ultimate rejection from all their families, have a unique perspective on the world that Grace wants the world to hear. She wants this community to find a home in themselves and belonging with each other. But she also wants this community to thrive and obtain the opportunities many don’t have access to and is building something for this community to help close the equity, inclusion and belonging gap unique to them.
Grace has spent the past 15 years first in the corporate sector and then the nonprofit sector to help build a better world. Grace is a 2021 alumnae of NYU’s Stern School of Business where she has earned her MBA, and resides in the Washington, DC area with her partner, baby daughter, and her two four-legged “kids”. She is a marathoner, loves being challenged physically in the gym or on the road, and enjoys competitive running and weightlifting. She also is a seasoned home baker and it has become her creative outlet these past ten years.