By Annaliu Hanson, MD Summer Program Intern
Photos Courtesy of Annaliu Hanson
Hello everyone, my name is Annaliu Hanson and I am 21 years old. I am a rising senior at George Washington University, majoring in psychology. I was born in China and adopted at 1 year old. My grandparents on my mother’s side immigrated to the US from China and my dads family comes from Europe. I have three older brothers and two dogs.
I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, about one hour south of Boston. The town was not very diverse and I could probably count the number of non-White students on one hand. I struggled with my identity and felt like I was different when I just wanted to blend in. In 2011 I had the opportunity to travel to China for my oldest brother’s wedding and was able to see the area from which I was adopted. It was an eye opening experience where I was surrounded by people who I looked similar to and did not feel like I was out of place.
I first heard about AALEAD from one of my psychology professors and she recommended that I learn more about it. The more I looked into it, the more invested I became. It sounded like a wonderful organization that I wanted to be a part of and now I am working as the Maryland Summer Programs Intern. In the past I have worked for a program that strives to empower and inspire confidence in young women. I wanted to continue that type of work and am glad I can do something similar for AALEAD in Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth. In the future, I want to work with AAPI populations, especially in trying to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and increase service use. I also want psychologists to be more culturally competent when understanding this population.
In my free time, I have been playing Animal Crossing and Pokemon games in the past months. One of my favorite movies/books is the Lord of the Rings series. I am really excited to be a part of AALEAD and am looking forward to the start of the summer programs!