As a teenager in 1971, Won Ja Cotton, made a trip to the United States with a goal to study some English. Arriving in the town of Nashville, Tennessee, she soon found a way to study English, experience a new culture, new landscape and new people. After a short time, she was in love and married a soldier.
During the next twenty years she would travel to many places in the United States with the US Army attending her family. She got halfway back to Korea while living in Hawaii during one of her husband’s assignments. With her children were grown, she started a new chapter joining a family business. The Korean store she managed sold the things all repatriated Koreans look for to remember home and cultivate long held traditions.
Later, joining family, she relocated to the Atlanta metro area more than 10 years ago. Starting another business with family, she entered the restaurant industry in the competitive market of chicken wings. After a few years of dedication, they sold the business and Ms. Cotton began to look at other avenues to continue a full life.
A natural volunteer, she spent time translating with different non-profits and connecting members of the Korean community with needs and services. She lived with her family, but much of her time was out in the community’s social activities.
After her brother passed, she decided that her independent lifestyle needed more separation from family. Gwinnett Christian Terrace (GCT) offered a good apartment in a great location. Not only did this community meet her needs, but offered a social atmosphere and setting that would allow her to once again begin a new chapter. After 5 years at GCT, she continues to find new ways to enjoy home, share time as a volunteer and socialize out with friends and family.