American RadioWorks |
Image: Harvard First Generation Student Union Facebook Page.

The First Gen Movement

Over the past decade many elite colleges have taken great strides to admit low-income students, but there are unanticipated financial and cultural barriers to fitting in on campus that can’t easily be solved by merely giving students a foot in the door. Questions of class differences have spurred a nationwide movement of “first generation” student clubs on college campuses.

Recent Posts

  • 04.15.15

    The Lost Children of Katrina

    In the year following Hurricane Katrina, 30 percent of displaced children were either not enrolled in school or not attending regularly. Today, Louisiana has the nation’s highest rate of young adults who are neither in school nor working. And researchers are starting to ask: could the widespread gaps in schooling after Katrina be the reason?
  • 04.08.15

    Saving a Women’s College from Closure

    Last month the board of Sweet Briar College announced that the school will shut its doors at the end of this term, due to financial difficulties. The announcement was made abruptly, sending the campus community into a state of shock... and then activism.
  • 04.01.15

    The Future of College

    Kevin Carey's book "The End of College" is stirring up debate in higher ed circles. This week, a response to the book by a critic.
  • 03.25.15

    The End of College or the University of Everywhere

    When education policy wonk Kevin Carey looks into the future, he sees the end of traditional colleges and universities and he says that's a good thing.

American RadioWorks |
Image: Harvard First Generation Student Union Facebook Page.

The First Gen Movement

Over the past decade many elite colleges have taken great strides to admit low-income students, but there are unanticipated financial and cultural barriers to fitting in on campus that can’t easily be solved by merely giving students a foot in the door. Questions of class differences have spurred a nationwide movement of “first generation” student clubs on college campuses.

Recent Posts

  • 04.15.15

    The Lost Children of Katrina

    In the year following Hurricane Katrina, 30 percent of displaced children were either not enrolled in school or not attending regularly. Today, Louisiana has the nation’s highest rate of young adults who are neither in school nor working. And researchers are starting to ask: could the widespread gaps in schooling after Katrina be the reason?
  • 04.08.15

    Saving a Women’s College from Closure

    Last month the board of Sweet Briar College announced that the school will shut its doors at the end of this term, due to financial difficulties. The announcement was made abruptly, sending the campus community into a state of shock... and then activism.
  • 04.01.15

    The Future of College

    Kevin Carey's book "The End of College" is stirring up debate in higher ed circles. This week, a response to the book by a critic.
  • 03.25.15

    The End of College or the University of Everywhere

    When education policy wonk Kevin Carey looks into the future, he sees the end of traditional colleges and universities and he says that's a good thing.


Adoption stories


Beth-Ann Bloom
Woodbury, MN

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1980s

I did not set out to adopt. For several years I used my professional skills to act as a resource to folks placing international waiting kids for adoption. I traveled to Seoul with staff of Children's Home Society of Minnesota to meet many children and the dedicated staff who cared for them. One little boy had Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease, a disorder that I had just published several research papers on). I assured the social workers that this darling one-year-old would do very well in an adoptive family. I did not realize that the conversation swirling around me in Korean was a decision to remove Chung Koo Hak from his excellent foster home because there was no placement forthcoming and there was no more funding for foster care.

When I asked about the little boy on my return and learned that he was gone, I asked for the opportunity to adopt him myself. CHSM staff were really clear that the Koreans would never accept placement with a single woman but they permitted me to pay for and submit a home study.

My son came home within six months. He is now in college with all the ups and downs that brings for every family. He won a trip around the world in 6th grade and we visited Seoul and some of the people who had cared for him along the way. We also visited the institution he likely would have been sent to. The most amazing feeling was to understand that the facilities for children with Korea are so non-existent that the institution for the handicapped is not wheel-chair accessible.

I caution you to tread lightly on the oft-explored theme of unhappy adopted kids ripped from their birth countries and raised in foreign lands. Many of these children come from countries without the resources to meet their physical needs. Yes, it would we wonderful if the Korean culture and economy changed enough to offer him the medical care, educational accommodations, rehabilitation, and accessibility he needs. It wouldn't have happened fast enough for him. It is a good thing you are telling individual stories because that's what international adoption is, individuals.

I showed my son that CHSM was seeking mentors for young adopted children. He said, "I wouldn't be very good at that because I would say, 'I am not an adopted Korean person with a disability. I am just a person.'"



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks |
Image: Harvard First Generation Student Union Facebook Page.

The First Gen Movement

Over the past decade many elite colleges have taken great strides to admit low-income students, but there are unanticipated financial and cultural barriers to fitting in on campus that can’t easily be solved by merely giving students a foot in the door. Questions of class differences have spurred a nationwide movement of “first generation” student clubs on college campuses.

Recent Posts

  • 04.15.15

    The Lost Children of Katrina

    In the year following Hurricane Katrina, 30 percent of displaced children were either not enrolled in school or not attending regularly. Today, Louisiana has the nation’s highest rate of young adults who are neither in school nor working. And researchers are starting to ask: could the widespread gaps in schooling after Katrina be the reason?
  • 04.08.15

    Saving a Women’s College from Closure

    Last month the board of Sweet Briar College announced that the school will shut its doors at the end of this term, due to financial difficulties. The announcement was made abruptly, sending the campus community into a state of shock... and then activism.
  • 04.01.15

    The Future of College

    Kevin Carey's book "The End of College" is stirring up debate in higher ed circles. This week, a response to the book by a critic.
  • 03.25.15

    The End of College or the University of Everywhere

    When education policy wonk Kevin Carey looks into the future, he sees the end of traditional colleges and universities and he says that's a good thing.