Ellen Lawrence

Name

Ellen Lawrence

Age

23

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Occupation

Full-time Job Seeker

Own Words

Just 2 years ago, I can recall sitting in a Human Resources class on managing diversity, and doing an activity where we divided a circle into sections of groups in which we identified ourselves with. I remember I reserved large spaces for “adoptee” and “Korean.”

With each day that passes, I am finding certain things less important than they once were. There was a time in late high school where I sought out friends in other schools that were Asian (there was a bit of a shortage at my own), and in college, where I only hung out with Asian people- a lot of Koreans. I surrounded myself with the things that go along with hanging out with these groups of people, partially losing sight of the values and things I cherished growing up, and my own roots. Looking back, it is safe to say I was trying to fill some void by surrounding myself with people that I thought I had more in common with because of our looks or what not. Now, I’m more aware that the most important thing is that I am simply me, and there is a lot more that makes me who I am than just “adopted” and “Korean.” If anything, those spaces on my identity circle would be very small now. I know where I was born, but my roots are in suburban Minnesota. I guess I never consciously was struggling to find a balance, but I am confident in saying that I have.

Last year I spent the year teaching English in Korea at an educational university in the small city of Jeonju. Needless to say it was a pretty incredible experience. I may have learned and grown more in that one year abroad, than I have in the past few. Even though I didn’t feel like I had anything to come to terms with, that year spent immersed in that culture marks a closing to a chapter in my life.

I currently fall into the unemployed category of the United States’ workforce but I hope to someday serve with an organization and work alongside others who are passionate about improving the lives of others in some way and helping others develop and grow.

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