Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

It was during the spring of 1996 when an infant girl was abandoned on the steps of a hospital in the San Shui district of Guangdong Province in China, perhaps by her mother, father or another relative. Her birthday was deemed April 22, 1996. In October of 1996, at 8 months old, the little girl was matched for adoption with a single female living in Boston. Little did she know that this woman had waited eagerly for nearly two years to meet her. On December 24, 1996, she found herself surrounded by new friends and family members who had traveled from far and wide to greet her and welcome her to America. This little girl was me. I have long struggled with my multifaceted identity, growing up as a Jewish, Chinese-American Adoptee. My journey has been shaped by adversity, ignorance, and hatred. In the transition from the small private school that I had attended since kindergarten, to a large high school, I found that my differences were not celebrated. I began to question, resent, and feel ashamed about my identity. Luckily for me, I had a mentor named Dr. Iris Chin Ponte, who helped me navigate growing up as a Chinese American adoptee.
Another piece of my personal and professional development occurred during my undergraduate career at the University of Connecticut. It was during the developmental psychology course that I learned about Mary Ainsworth and work on attachment, that my interest in child psychology was cultivated. While pursuing my degree, I volunteered as a crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line platform and as a therapeutic mentor through MYS COPE. In addition, I became involved as a research assistant studying ASD and language acquisition. Over the years, I have developed a keen and personal interest in the well-being of children, especially adoptees. It was these experiences that have enforced my love and passion for children, ambition to improve lives and goal of earning a Master of Social Work degree to become a therapist and help those in need.

Liana from Massachusetts
Boston College School of Social Work