Roxanna was born and raised in the Gyeonggi Province in South Korea, where her father was a civilian contractor for the U.S. military. Shortly after moving to the United States, Roxanna applied to be part of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, where she had the opportunity to serve in five key issue areas: disaster relief, public safety, environment, education, and unmet human needs. In serving over 2,000 hours in the 10 month program, she gained the unique opportunity to work with numerous nonprofits on the East Coast, including the Gesundheit Institute of Patch Adams fame.
Roxanna believes her successes, both personally and academically, are rooted in her involvement with AmeriCorps. She pledged to carry her commitment in her service year (2002-2003) and beyond, and her passion for public service still holds strong. Roxanna spent four years running a small nonprofit organization, two years as a foster parent, and continues to engage in the community. She hopes to one day fulfill her lifelong dream of serving in the Peace Corps.
With encouragement from the Healthy Start Program, Roxanna returned to school the summer of 2008 and obtained her very first scholarship from the Rogue Community College Foundation. She then gained the confidence to compete for a highly selective scholarship from the Ford Family Foundation. Upon being awarded the Ford ReStart Scholarship, she transferred the following year to Southern Oregon University to continue pursuing her interests in the fields of Psychology, Human Service, and Sociology. She is now a senior finishing her two bachelor degrees as well as a minor in Sociology and a certificate in conflict resolution. Roxanna firmly believes that her interdisciplinary education has enhanced her ability to think both creatively and critically.
As an intern with a local nonprofit that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Roxanna began to understand how organizations are functioning under the constraints of larger social structures and how research can inform policy and practice. She looks forward to applying her knowledge to inform policies and develop/evaluate programs that provide services to children and families at risk. Roxanna is especially interested in the policies and services that affect youth in foster care.
Roxanna feels incredibly blessed to have the honor of being both a Diversity Scholar and a McNair Scholar at Southern Oregon University, as these opportunities are expanding her personal, academic, and future career possibilities. Her mother continually emphasized the importance of education because poverty did not allow her to continue after the third grade. Her father achieved his successes with only a high school diploma, demonstrating a strong work ethic. As a first-generation, low-income, non-traditional college student, and parent, Roxanna is no stranger to adversity. However, she is appreciative of her personal and familial challenges because they have contributed to her empathy and unconditional positive regard.
Roxanna expresses her gratitude to everyone who has assisted in her journey. In return, she is committed to empowering others to both realize their own strengths and achieve their goals.
Mentor: Mary Russell-Miller, Psychology
2012 Southern Oregon Arts & Research (SOAR)
SOU McNair Scholars Journal Fall 2012 – Vol. 9
2012 McNair Scholar Symposium
Slide Presentation: Foster Parent Retention and Satisfaction