Emory China Care American Dragons Mentorship Program

The Problem

Children adopted into American families from China ages 9 and older often go through an "identity crisis" in their preteen years. Their parents are often Caucasian and as their children enter middle school and high school, they are expected by society to "act Asian". The parents do not know how to teach their ethnically Chinese daughters Asian hair and skin care, Chinese cooking, and Chinese language.

Plan of Action

I founded the mentorship program last year after a parent told me about the unique "identity crisis" situation adopted children from China over the age of 9 face as they enter middle school. Emory China Care's playgroup designed for children adopted from China under the age of 6 does not suit the older children since they are too old for simple songs, arts and crafts and games. These preteens seek a role model who looks Asian like them. The mentorship program [named "American Dragons" by the children] is held monthly with 30 adopted girls from around Georgia in attendance. We have cooked Chinese dumplings, taught them make-up, hair-care, and Chinese pop culture. The next step is for the college students to pair up with an adopted child so we get to know one another better, and go on group field trips to Chinese cultural events. We are looking for new ideas to teach the children to keep this program fun and memorable. All the mentors are volunteers from Emory China Care who go through a background check and all activities are FREE.

Project Updates

Our next program is on January 25th at 4:00 at the High Museum to learn more about Chinese history and see the Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor of China!

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