Haesoo Kim is a dancing, tennis-playing, succulent-collecting tea enthusiast from El Dorado Hills (near Sacramento). As WSP’s Assistant Director, Haesoo oversees WSP’s staff development and WSP workshops. A huge travel-bug and outdoors-lover, she has been to all of the national parks in California and plans on seeing the rest soon. Her goal is to one day visit every continent in the world. She has a light obsession with food, coconut water, and learning languages. Haesoo became interested in psychology after reading Flowers For Algernon, and she likes learning about psychopathology and the brain.
Her appetite for stories began at a young age when her parents read Korean folklore to her and shared stories from their own pasts. She loves to read personal creative essays, science fiction, and fantasy. Her all-time favorite writer is the late author of the fantasy comedy series Discworld, Terry Pratchett, although Tamora Pierce will always remain close to her heart. Haesoo likes to write mainly poems and short stories, although she is currently working on a novel!
Kent Tran is this year’s Communications Coordinator at WSP. Growing up in the Bay Area suburbs of San Jose, he is fond of milk tea and the word “hella.” In his free time, Kent is a consumer: a lover of good food, pretentious indie music, and all the hyper-liberal news he can find on Facebook. When he puts on his serious face, Kent is always working on improving his poetry writing, figuring out what the buttons on his DSLR do, and learning more about issues of gender, race, and economics. Sometimes, he writes about all these things too.
As Kent grows up, he is quickly realizing that the world has way too much to offer. He hopes to one day be able to write code for the next big software company, publish and edit books for up and coming writers, craft stories and headlines for newspapers, work together with nonprofits to make change, and teach English to eager young minds. For now, you can find Kent learning vital life skills, such as learning how to cook for himself.
Shannon is a milk-tea loving Taiwanese American from the Bay Area. She is currently the Writing and Creativity Counseling Coordinator for the Writing Success Program. In her free time, she enjoys swimming laps at Sunset Canyon, binge-watching Korean dramas, overeating at the dining halls, and exploring the city with her friends. Shannon is currently on a quest to find the best shady taco truck and most authentic boba shop in Los Angeles. In the meanwhile, she is pursuing a career in the health field, perhaps in ophthalmology or obstetrics. Although she enjoys lounging on her couch at home while watching Criminal Minds, her biggest dreams are to see the Northern Lights in person, to travel across Asia, and to become a useful, functioning member of society.
Ananya Bhargava is a Writing and Creativity Peer Counselor at WSP. She celebrated her thirteenth, sixteenth and twentieth birthday in three different countries and hopes to keep the tradition alive by celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday in a different country. Despite living in different places, Ananya has never taken a proper vacation. She hopes to save enough so she can travel for fun one day.
Her love for the written word started when she was five and stumbling over the words of a children’s book. Once obsessed with everything Brontë, she is currently struggling to keep up with her reading list of non-fiction books, particularly memoirs and research papers on queer, postcolonial feminist and economic theory. She is interested in history, economics (and a combination of the two—economic history) and pop culture. When she is not filled with existential dread about the future, she can be found petting her neighborhood cat.
Estrella Ulloa is a Writing and Creativity Counselor at WSP. She grew up in Bell, California, a small town in Los Angeles, but now she and her family live in Downey, California where they eat plenty of Portos. She found her love for cooking, baking, and knitting at the age of eleven years old, and she loves creating things with her own hands. Occasionally, Estrella finds a DIY Pinterest project to work on, and she enjoys using her creativity to build things she loves.
When she was younger, she was not much of a recreational reader, but she vividly remembers reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins in middle school. This was the first time she lost sleep over a novel, and she holds this series close to her heart.
When life gets a little hectic and overwhelming, she loves to retreat to her journals and diaries and write everything that is on her mind. Ink-stained pages filled with raw, 2 am thoughts are her muse. Writing is liberating, and she loves learning from her emotional reflection diary pages.
Estrella hopes to have a career in health psychology when she is older. She finds learning about human behavior enlightening, and she wants to help others learn more about themselves and their emotional and mental wellbeing. For now, she is taking classes to learn more about psychology and spends a lot of free time learning about self-help and practicing self-care!