Leading People Search Engine Recognizes Search Angels For Their Efforts In Reconnecting Adult Adoptees and Their Families Nationwide
Pasadena, Calif., July 22, 2015 – Spokeo (www.spokeo.com), the leading people search engine, along with an advisory committee comprised of leaders from a variety of adoption organizations, today announced three honorees for the Annual Spokeo Search Angel Awards: Kimberley Haskitt, Jennifer Johnston and Natalie Monolakis.
A “Search Angel” is an individual who donates their time and resources to aid adoptees in their personal search goals, while providing guidance and emotional support throughout the process. They are widely known through the adult adoptee community for their search work with those who have been touched by adoption, foster care and other family separation circumstances.
“Spokeo started the Search Angel Awards three years ago to acknowledge the hardworking volunteers nationwide who selflessly give their time and resources to help adoptees find their loved ones,” said Harrison Tang, chief executive officer, Spokeo. “This year’s honorees are the perfect examples of how a dedicated and skilled volunteer paired with the right technology can transform people’s lives.”
Spokeo and the members of the Spokeo Search Angels Advisory Committee selected the following three winners out of more than 20 nominations based on their passion and dedication to helping others navigate adoption reunion search:
- Kimberley Haskitt– With private investigation training from the University of Washington and professional experience as a researcher and writer, Kimberley passionately connects adoptees to their lost family members for hours everyday. She stumbled into search angel work by helping a dear childhood friend who simply wanted a photo of her birth father. She is deeply focused on the power of DNA testing and the impact it can have on adoptees in search; she plans to enroll in school again this fall to become a certified genealogist.
- Jennifer Johnston – In her search for her own birth family, Jennifer developed many skills that helped her thrive as a search angel. She was able to reunite in 2013, and after offering to help one person in need, she has built a network of 300 adoptees in as little as one year. She is passionate about helping others and dedicates more than 60 hours per week to helping adoptees fill in the blanks and reunite them with their lost ones. She is honored to be a small part in their life story.
- Natalie Manolakis – With little information to go on, Natalie searched for her own birth parents unassisted for more than 20 years. After researching DNA testing and opening an account with Spokeo, she was reunited with her lost loved ones, only to find out they had been searching for her as well. After her success, she vowed to help anyone in her same situation. In December 2014, she co-founded a Utah adoptees search and reunion group. So far, the group has successfully found nearly 30 families and has more than 350 members.
The award recipients will be honored at the 37th Annual American Adoption Congress in March of 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Winners of this annual accolade receive a cash grant from the Spokeo Search Angel fund, hosted by the Mixed Roots Foundation, to help offset the personal costs they incur while searching. They also receive a one-year membership to Spokeo as a resource to aid them in their investigations. In addition, families who are matched by the award winners can elect to have Spokeo sponsor the costs of their reunion.
The honorees were selected by the Search Angel Awards Advisory Committee, which is comprised of adoption industry leaders. The committee includes:
- Holly Choon Hyang Bachman – Founder and President,Mixed Roots Foundation
- Lynne Banks – South Dakota State Representative for American Adoption Congress, Search Angel and Co-Founder, AdoptionScams.net
- Melissa Barto – Account Director, JCUTLER media group
- Pam Kroskie – Search Angel, Adoptee, Radio Host and President, HEAR (Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records)
- Johnny Madrid – Board Director, A Home Within, California Court Appointed Special Advocates, and National Foster Youth Action Network
- CeCe Moore – Founder and President “The DNA Detectives” and Co-founder, The Institute for Genetic Genealogy
- Vanessa Flores Waite – Director of Public Relations & Community Initiatives, Spokeo
- Marilyn Waugh – Past President and current State Representative, American Adoption Congress
For more information about the 2015 and previous Spokeo Search Angel Award winners, please visit spokeoangels.com.
About Spokeo Search Angels Program
In the fall of 2012, Spokeo, the Mixed Roots Foundation and an advisory committee made up of leaders from the adoption community collaborated to create an awards program to honor, recognize and support the work of search volunteers known as search angels. Since the announcement of the first winners in March of 2013, the program has recognized and awarded seven angels and provided reunion sponsorships for multiple families. Spokeo is committed to recognizing search angels and supporting them as they continue to help others search and reunite. The Spokeo Search Angel Awards honor the dedicated search volunteers by providing recognition and resources so they can assist more families.
Spokeo is a leading people search service using proprietary technology to organize public information into comprehensive yet easy-to-understand online profiles. Based in Pasadena, Spokeo makes it easier than ever to help reunite friends and family, browse celebrities, and discover information about your online footprint, by simply searching a name, address, email, phone or username. For more information about Spokeo, visit www.spokeo.com or follow @spokeo on Twitter.
About Mixed Roots Foundation
Mixed Roots Foundation seeks to improve the lives of those who have been touched by adoption and foster care by leveraging philanthropy and grass roots fundraising to provide important post adoption resources including mentoring, DNA testing and grants/scholarships by promoting and supporting organizations that serve as a resource to the diverse adoption and foster care community, creating more awareness about the adoption and foster care experience and most importantly inspiring future generations of adoptees and their families to achieve their dreams and goals through collaboration of likeminded individuals, businesses and organizations in the greater community.
For more information, please visit: https://www.