Hi! My name is Scarlett Hester (she/her/hers), I am a Korean adoptee, and I grew up in Central PA. I have lived in many different places in the U.S., but I currently reside in Muncie, IN, and am slowly adjusting to midwestern life. I’m an Assistant Professor at Ball State University and teach/research about rhetoric, media, and popular culture.
I’m excited to be part of KAAN’s Education Committee! I stumbled across KAAN through various adoptee hashtags on Instagram and on a whim, decided to participate in KAAN Connect in the summer of 2020. I remember being struck and feeling overwhelmed (in a good way) to see so many faces that resembled my own on the Zoom screen. Like many KADs, I grew up in a white family and a predominantly white community where a part of me always felt like I didn’t quite belong. The opening KAAN Connect session was the first time I felt truly seen and understood in all of the complexity that comes with being a Korean adoptee. As the sessions progressed, I quickly realized this was a community I had been longing for my entire life - a community of people with similar life experiences, who could understand my struggles and pain without explanation. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate the connections KAAN fosters – from the virtual happy hours to the community conversations to the virtual conference – KAAN has quickly become a place I turn to feel seen, heard, and supported during my ongoing journey in understanding what it means to be a Korean adoptee.
I deeply value the space KAAN creates and its commitment to center adoptee voices, narratives, and experiences. Everyone I have encountered through KAAN is thoughtful and recognizes the complexity and nuance associated with the adoptee journey. I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute a small portion to this rich and growing community!