As ASIA Families celebrates its tenth year of supporting adopted persons from Korea – children, teens, and adults – through enriching educational programs in the U.S. and Korea, we would like to celebrate the dedicated volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents.
On Saturday mornings, as children, teens, and parents make their way to the Culture School registration table, the first — and happiest — person they encounter is Eunjung Choi, our Director of Korean Culture School since 2017. Eunjung, who also goes by Ella, took a few moments from her busy Saturday schedule to answer a few questions for us.
Question: Eunjung, how long have you been serving as Director of Korean Culture School?
Eunjung: I’ve been serving as Director since 2017, but I’ve been involved in ASIA Families since 2012.
Question: How did you learn about ASIA Families?
Eunjung: I actually learned about ASIA Families in Korea through one of my good friends, Jared Tae. He is an adult adoptee who grew up with ASIA Families and even served as teen director at Camp Rice. I met him through the InKAS summer camp in Korea in 2010, while I was working for InKAS.
Question: What is InKAS?
Eunjung: InKAS stands for International Korean Adoptee Service, Inc., InKAS is a non-profit post adoption organization in Korea that provides homeland tours, camps, a guest house, scholarships, and other services for adoptees.
Question: So how did this friendship lead to ASIA Families?
Eunjung: Jared and I kept in touch after he went back to the U.S. When I first arrived here in 2012, he invited me to ASIA Families since he knew about my passion for adoptees, particularly young kids, and that I would love to volunteer, which I did. I served as a volunteer at both Culture School and Camp Rice. I fell in love with the kids and people who were involved in ASIA and they really became my family.
Question: But then you moved back to Korea, right?
Eunjung: Yes, I moved back to Korea for a few years but then I returned to the U.S. after getting married in 2016. I was excited to reconnect with ASIA and see how the kids that I first met back in 2012 had grown up to become teens and even college students!
Question: What’s the best part of being a volunteer for ASIA Families?
Eunjung: I love being a part of ASIA because I can see the excitement in the eyes of our children and I can tell how much they love to meet people who are involved with this amazing organization.
Question: What do you do when you’re not working with ASIA Families?
Eunjung: When I have free time, I like to check out new restaurants and search for good coffee. But, I don’t have a lot of free time right now because I had a baby this past June! His name is Oliver Minoo Peck, and I’ll be introducing him to ASIA Families soon.