Meet the Team
Nationality/Current Country: Sweden
How long have you been an ARMY? Since 2016
How did you first discover BTS? I used to like K-pop in my younger years and asked a friend if she was willing to introduce me to the new acts in 2016 because honestly, it was just a darn jungle. I accidently saw an I NEED U performance while on YouTube and thought that I needed to check this group out more.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I’m not sure you can really pinpoint when you transition into becoming an ARMY. After countless of videos, getting to know them as people and artist, and going through their discography (realising they pretty much don’t have a bad song)... everything just resonated with me. And I once you’re really in, you don’t get out.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? Honestly? I just responded with a suggestion to the famous tweet and got added to a groupchat that was active while I was asleep and then woke up to a link to discord. I do like to help people so I thought I’d at least check it out. Then I suddenly was organizing everything and I just felt like this could really be something. And now here we are.
What is your role in OIAA? I am one of the facilitators, we try to keep everyone and everything together while spreading positivity! On top of that I help out in both Research Team and the Communication Team. I also take care of all our lovely volunteers and allies that help us translate and give us feedback! But really, I think I’m just the one responsible for the google drive because I love having things organized and making it easier for people keep up...
One fun fact about yourself: When I was in 9th grade we were asked what my goal was in 10 year. I put down that I wanted to build a super fancy orphanage (you know what all the latest games and machines!) so that every kid would be happy. It’s now 11 years later, and maybe I haven’t built an orphanage (yet!) at least I’m trying to make a difference… baby steps!
Nationality/Current Country: Morocco
How long have you been an ARMY? Since 2015
How did you first discover BTS? I was a kdrama fan since 2012, although i’ve heard about kpop, it wasn’t my preference, I first heard of BTS because ARMYs were talking about them in a comment section under one of Ryan Higa’s videos, he said BTS when he meant ‘behind the scenes” and everyone misunderstood and were freaking out lol “I need you’ was just released then but i didn’t listen to it.. i used to follow a lot of kdrama fanaccs on IG, one of them shared the dance break of dope when it came out ! i checked the group and i was really impressed, then I forgot about it until the reaction from FBE popped up in my suggestions in youtube, I realised this group was everywhere i went and it couldn’t be a coincidence, i became invested after that.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I liked their music,dance, how genuine they were, their bond and their hard work, their story.. at some point I realized I spent so much time on them and that I am, too, an ARMY !
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I was always interested in humanitarian work, I read a lot about people’ different needs and struggles and I always wanted to help somehow, since I can barely donate due to my personal reasons, i thought i should join OIAA’s team and help them as much as I can.
What is your role in OIAA? I’m part of research team and design team!
One fun fact about yourself: I enjoy reading about cultures and knowing people from different parts of the world.
Nationality/Current Country: USA
How long have you been an ARMY? Since 2017, sometime after BBMAs but before AMAs.
How did you first discover BTS? I was in a Kdrama group, and some of the members kept trying to drag me into what I called “their Kpop cult.” I was able to resist, because I am strong. But then the clips of Taehyung being the absolute cutest sweetest thing in the universe started showing up and I just had to find out more about this magical creature. So I started watching compilation clips on Youtube. It led to meeting the others, and...
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I wish I could say it was the music but that was probably the last thing I got around to. I was in love with seeing such kindhearted, dedicated, hardworking boys with such a great relationship where they supported each other and took care of each other, goofed around like real brothers. Then I fell in love with their choreography, then their mvs, learned their story, and finally really started paying attention to their actual music and lyrics - and wow. My respect for them soared over the moon. No turning back after that.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I didn’t discover ARMY Twitter until sometime after the AMAs, maybe December or January. When I joined, I was staggered at this powerhouse of people all organized and dedicated to helping these boys I’d come to love. I was thinking a lot about how the members of BTS always say they want to make a difference in the world with their platform, and how proud they would be to see this entire global force that they inspired doing good deeds around the world in their name. With such numbers, we could make a huge impact for people who really need it. And it would be so great for our boys to be known for having inspired their fans to do that. So when Ana asked if any ARMYs would be interested to organize a project to help Syrian refugees, I immediately jumped on board!
What is your role in OIAA? Facilitator; Research & Outreach Team. I am also in charge of being in love with all the talents that everyone on the team has and wishing I could hug them all 26/9! I help research and get in contact with organizations to help arrange the campaigns, occasional PR, and I also help advise with the direction and concept of the project.
One fun fact about yourself: I have been to exactly 2 concerts in my 39 years. Love Yourself at Citifield, and Love Yourself: Speak Yourself at MetLife. Both were amazing, but you knew that.
Nationality/Current Country: Morocco/Italy
How long have you been an ARMY? Since end of 2017
How did you first discover BTS? First time I noticed them was at the end of 2016 when I stumbled on the FBE video reacting to BS&T...I really loved the song, I downloaded it and watched the mv quite a few times, but for some reason I ended up completely forgetting about them without further checking them out.
Then during the majority of 2017 I kept seeing mentions of them everywhere but since I had tried out different kpop bands before and I didn't like them I just decided to ignore it and move on....until I just couldn't take it anymore and decided to properly check them out, I really wanted to know what they did to have such a dedicated fanbase, there must be a reason for that! I've been in plenty of fandoms but this was seriously on another level, and after a 3 day youtube binge I finally understood exactly why ARMYs are so dedicated...my only regret now is that I didn't give them a chance sooner.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? Tbh I'd say my fan phase was really really short...I immediately got pulled in by how genuine and real they seemed to be in their interactions with each other and by their deep and meaningful lyrics, but especially by their incredibly tight connection to ARMYs. I was amazed at how close they were to eachother and how much support and appreciation they showed eachother ...it was unlike any other fandom I've been in before, and let me tell you I've been in plenty ;)
It just felt like coming home, I've never felt as comfortable and at ease in a fandom before so the transition for me was super fast, I was watching my first video of them one day and then already considered myself an ARMY and fully supported them everywhere the week after.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I've been dreaming about setting up a fandom driven charity campaign project for a few years now, my plans were originally for a different fandom but it never really worked out...deep down I knew they wouldn't be enthusiastic enough for it but I still kept hoping that I'd manage to do it someday ...then I stumbled upon OIAA on twitter and I was AMAZED...it's exactly what I always wanted to do so I didn't hesitate to contact them and offer my help, which they thankfully accepted and I couldn't be any happier with our project atm, ARMYs are just an incredible force that no one should ever under estimate!
What is your role in OIAA? I am part of the communication team, so we’re in charge of promoting our projects and communicating with ARMYs on different platforms. All of us still help with the general planning and organization of the various campaigns, discussing different concepts and ideas etc.
One fun fact about yourself: I love books! You’ll find me reading anytime and everywhere haha
Nationality/Current Country: Malaysia
How long have you been an ARMY? 1 year officially Army not include a few years i become ‘Fan’
How did you first discover BTS? By yt. I first saw Jungkook singing in some korean singing show around 2015. I thought he was good and slowly i discover other BTS member and their amazing songs.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? The song Butterfly hit me from the first time i heard it but that doesnt make me an Army yet. But slowly, watching their shows, constantly on yt, vlive or other shows.. It gives joy to me,it makes me happy. It was comforting and support my emotion, and because of that I make my decision to be BTS Army when i saw all their hard work in doing good music while in process comforting their listener/fan/Army.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? OIAA is a group that i cherish most. When i first joined OIAA i’ve doubted myself if i can give back to others and do good deeds with most of all member in our team is a stranger to me. I’m not sure if i can communicate well with them since i’m an introvert. But truly, BTS inspires me most in doing charity. I want to spread the good vibes through Army and BTS.I want to showed others, fangirling is not bad if you take your idol as a role model to you. Bts inspires me, not only them.. My Army member in OIAA too inspires me to be a good person. They really makes me want to stayed in OIAA for a longer time doing fundraising and helping the people who needed most in the world. And that's why i want to joined OIAA.
What is your role in OIAA? Mainly, i was in communications team. Usually, we will promote and communicate with other Army via twitter or other platform about fundraising or any project that we have. And try to reach any fanbase that we could to help in our project. But, we also try to gives some idea in project and stuff to help others members.
One fun fact about yourself: I talk a lot with people who i feel comfortable most. (Which is My OIAA team member)
Nationality/Current Country: Canada
Birth year: 1989
How long have you been an ARMY? Since August 2017!
How did you first discover BTS? My first contact with BTS was on Tumblr. There was running joke that you can’t escape K-pop on that platform; eventually someone you followed would turn into a K-pop blog. An author I followed for BBC Sherlock content started spamming BTS gifs overnight, so I was vaguely aware of what was happening when Jungkook graduated, though I didn’t think anything of it other than, “aw that cute little boy graduated something, good for him :)”. I also noticed when Spring Day was released, because suddenly my whole dash was talking about someone named Jin and how he was definitely a ghost on some train, but I thought it was from a movie I’d eventually get around to watching. A couple months later, I was watching YouTubers react videos and found one where they react to BTS mvs. Fire and Not Today really stood out and I spent the rest of the weekend thinking about the choreography. After a couple of days of being in denial, I bought both songs and looked up more videos. Dope was the third one I watched and it was Seokjin’s smile at 1:41 that made me admit that I had more than a passing interest in these guys.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I knew going into it that ARMY in particular had a reputation of working for their faves, and I was really impressed with how organized ARMY was on Twitter. The more I found out about BTS, the more I wanted to support them. I’d stayed away from K-pop for years because I didn’t want to support an industry filled with human rights violations, but hearing that BTS were treated like people AND had creative control over their music is what sold me. Another big factor was the members themselves. I’ve been in a lot of fandoms over the years, and I’ve never seen this level of genuine love between artists and their fans. The atmosphere the guys are able to build just by being themselves is incredible. MAMA voting 2017 really sealed the deal for me too. By November 2017, I was bleeding purple.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I replied to Ana’s tweet and found myself in a group chat on Twitter with a handful of other excited ARMY. I’m active in social justice in my personal and professional life, so I really like the idea of being able to use fandom power to help others.
What is your role in OIAA? I’m on the research team and I’m also the web team leader.
One fun fact about yourself: One time I spent the night drinking with Michael Sheen and heard behind the scenes stories about what it’s like to be on the Great British Bake Off. It was awesome.
Nationality/Current Country: USA
Birth year: 1995
How long have you been an ARMY? 3 years now!
How did you first discover BTS? I watched a YouTubers React video when I was bored one day and they were doing Kpop. All the songs were catchy, but BTS’s Dope made me want to look for their video and at it to my spotify. Totally fell for Jungkook when he stepped into the scene and kind of just stayed for the music and amazing choreography.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? It was the Her album. I had been half-way there when Blood, Sweat, and Tears came out, but I don’t know something happened that just made me go all in and I don’t regret it all.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I’ve always been involved with charity work as a kid, but I wasn’t as active as I was my last remaining years of college. Seeing my two passions unite made me decide that I want to participate in this organization in anyway I can.
What is your role in OIAA? Research Team and Spanish Translator
One fun fact about yourself: I’ll cry from overexposure of BTS being cute.
Ana Beatriz V.
Nationality/Current Country: Brazil
Birth year: 2002
How long have you been an ARMY? 4 years
How did you first discover BTS? My friend made me watch Save Me’s music video
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? After I got addicted to Save Me I started searching more about bts, their music, personal video, lyrics etc and I kinda fell in love with everything and became an army
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? Because I want to help people. I have a family who loves me, I have the opportunity to study, to travel, to meet new cultures, to live a normal life while there are billions of people who don’t even have food to eat or water to drink. I wish every and each person in this world could have the same opportunities to live a life with dignity and love. Same for animals and the whole planet as well. It doesn’t matter how significant that change is as long as we work together to achieve it and make the world a better place in the process.
What is your role in OIAA? I’m the founder of OIAA. Together with that, I’m part of the Communication team, taking care of Instagram, Amino and Facebook, and research team, helping to find reliable NGO’s that meet our criteria to work with! At the moment, I’m a campaign leader as well, being in charge of the March 2020 campaign!
One fun fact about yourself: I’m scared of fish and I can’t really swim but I love going to the beach anyway 🤷🏾♀️
Michelle (Sammie) S.
Nationality/Current Country: Chinese American / USA
Birth year: 1987
How long have you been an ARMY? Since January 5th, 2018
How did you first discover BTS? I first heard about them in the Spring of 2017, during their Wings Tour. At the time a friend offered to sell me some extra tickets she had, but I didn’t take them because I didn’t know who they were (I know! So much regret.). It wasn’t until after the BBMAs, when they were being interviewed by Ellen, that I really looked into them. I honestly thought that I would be over my KPOP phase (been listening to KPOP casually since 2009), which is why I didn’t really take it further when I discovered who they were. However, their success in gaining American media’s interest was something I couldn’t ignore any longer.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? During the New Years, I knew my niece was a huge BTS fan, so I played the DNA MV for her on our projector and witnessed her complete passionate excitement over them. The following week, as I was listening to their music on Spotify I texted my niece, “Who is the angelic voice at the beginning of Blood, Sweat, & Tears?!” I was shocked to learn that it was actually one of the members of BTS and not a female vocalist. From that point, I had fallen down the Bangtan rabbit hole (Thank-you Jimin). I knew I had become a full fledged ARMY when I stayed up until 2 AM in the morning chatting with ARMY on Amino and becoming really active on r/Bangtan. I had never felt comfortable putting myself out there on social media before BTS, but for some reason I felt really intrigued by the fandom and really motivated to connect with other BTS fans.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I had seen so many ARMY ran charity campaigns on Twitter & Reddit and was always touched and inspired but I never had enough confidence to donate to a group that I didn’t really know. & maybe it was serendipity, because at the time I was also considering a career change, perhaps work for a nonprofit organization and do some good for the world. That's when suddenly OIAA opened up application for recruits. Because most ARMYs I had encountered were so wholesome and caring people, I didn’t think twice about it and submitted my application.
What is your role in OIAA? I’m part of communications (mostly Animo & Facebook) and part of the design team. But I love being able to contribute to the team anyway I can and filling in the gaps if possible.
One fun fact about yourself: I’m a huge board game nerd. I have an extensive library of board games and love hosting board game nights with my friends. I stopped buying board games after becoming ARMY, but that’s a good thing because I was running out of space for them and they’re really expensive! (Not that BTS merch/concerts aren’t though…^^;)
Nationality/Current Country: Scotland
How long have you been an ARMY? Since summer 2017 (my 16th birthday!)
How did you first discover BTS? It was a dark and stormy night, and I heard a scratching sound against my window… so I put on some YouTube videos to distract myself and I ended up at the Fire MV!
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I wouldn't really say I had a ‘fan’ phase. The minute I saw the first video I went and searched them up and found as much content as I could. It was less than a week before I spent real money on Bon Voyage <(‘o’<)
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I've always wanted to help people, but it can be hard because I don't have much money. When I saw a post about using ARMY’s strong power as a fandom to do charity work, I wanted to know how I could help out so I messaged them, and luckily have skills we can use!
What is your role in OIAA? I help out with Design Team, Instagram, and general brainstorming.
One fun fact about yourself: I use elephants to represent myself because of my nickname: ‘Ellie’phant!
Nationality/Current Country: Philippines
How long have you been an ARMY? Since 2013
How did you first discover BTS? Through my aunt she’s a “Hottest” (2PM fan) and a big JYP Nation stan, I remember her whining she felt old and a little nervous about BigHit debuting a new boy group (since bighit has a bit of a past) curiosity got the best of me and I stumbled on Jungkook’s log the one with him wearing this black fluffy jacket soo yep the rest is history.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I don’t really know hmm when they debuted their music wasn’t actually my taste I was into classical and ballads but I was fascinated by the meaning of their songs and how relatable it was, up until now the music they make just matches with the trials I face it really matches, I’m just growing up with their music.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I saw a clip where a professor in Korea was talking about OIAA it hooked me with the purpose and everything and decided to dm if I can help in layouting/design.
What is your role in OIAA? I am part of the design team!
One fun fact about yourself: I’m a medical student who’s a sucker for art.
Nationality/Current Country: Germany
Birth Year: 2000
How long have you been an ARMY? Since the end of August 2017.
How did you first discover BTS? It was in summer vacation. Bored me found a video on YouTube about Koreans pronouncing Western names. After I watched that, YouTube kept suggesting me Kpop themed videos and I found them fascinating. I had known about BTS before as I was a Troye Sivan fan and after they talked about him a lot in BBMA interviews, I found some tweets about that from time to time. But I was never a boy group type of person and was totally sure that they were not special at all. But knowing they were the biggest Kpop group, I had to check them out now that I knew more about Korean music. The first video of them that I watched was the Billboard interview (I care a lot about the personalities of the artists I stan, that's why I watched an interview first). They didn't seem that special to me. I don't remember what happened next but suddenly I fell in love with them.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I think that probably happened like half a year later, when I got to know other Armys, joined Army projects and got involved in Army Twitter. That's when I got more into the materia of BTS’ message.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I supported them from the beginning when they first started, because I found the idea amazing and I had always wished for a project like that in our or any fandom I was in before. I helped translate for them and organized the #AnpanARMYxLYTour project for Berlin. After that they asked me if I want to be part of the team, so how could I say no, right? ㅇ~ㅇ
What is your role in OIAA? I help with the Instagram account as a part of communication team and I'm also in the Research Team (I may not have done much for that one though, oops..)
One fun fact about yourself: I tend to talk to objects. It happens that I call my laptop “baby” and pat it, but that's totally normal.
Nationality/Current Country: Canada
How long have you been an ARMY? Officially since 2018, when I fully jumped down the rabbit hole.
How did you first discover BTS? / What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I was largely getting out of K-pop when BTS first debuted so I had them vaguely on my radar, but I never invested much time on them in the beginning. I was focused on everything else in my life. Every once in a while they would pop up with a great song and I would spend time listening and learning a bit about them, but never to any great degree. Once a good friend of mine became ARMY and started telling me about the intricacies of the BU and everything that BTS was working towards it was difficult not to become interested - which led to becoming emotionally invested in the success of 7 amazing young men changing the face of music and the world. The rest is pretty much history.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? There is a lot good in the world, but there’s a lot of not-so-good too, and A LOT of downright bad. If I can do just a little bit to help make the not-so-good and bad better, why wouldn’t I try to? When I discovered OIAA and learned that they encourage micro-donations and non-monetary ways to help, as well as providing vetted charities that ARMY can be confident about giving their hard-earned money to in order to help the world, I couldn’t help but fall in love and contact them offering to help if they would have me, turns out they would.
What is your role in OIAA? Primarily research and playing receipt whisperer. I occasionally help with our newsletter and try to fill in wherever I’m needed.
One fun fact about yourself: I’m a bit of a trivia nerd. I watch Jeopardy religiously, I was captain of my high school trivia team, and I will watch pretty much any show that involves trivia or puzzle-solving! (I may have forced my way into being one of the main brains behind the #ARMYGiftSwap cyphers and clues once it was suggested)
Nationality/Current Country: Serbia
Birth year: 1999
How long have you been an ARMY? Since the summer of 2017! (approximately June-July)
How did you first discover BTS? I was watching reactions on the FBE channel and stumbled upon a k-pop one. BTS immediately stood out to me and I went to check out the full video (I think it was the DOPE MV) as I was mesmerized by the way they danced. Cue the whole denial stage of 2 months (as I was never a full fledged fan of anything until them) that had me vehemently denying being a fan even though I was already in too deep in MV theories and past the stage of knowing just their names.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? While theories and dance got me hooked, what really made me stay is their music, their personalities and the positivity of their influence. It took me while to go through their whole discography, to hunt down all the songs and covers, but at the end of it I knew that was it for me, I was an ARMY.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I believe I followed OIAA from near the beginning and I was amazed at the idea of micro-donations and what impact it can make. And even though I had no way of contributing until recently I kept up as much as I could so when I saw the application for new design team members I decided to try. It took me a few days to muster up the courage to fill out the form but here I am!
What is your role in OIAA? I am a member of the design team!
One fun fact about yourself: I’m way too curious for my own good to the point that I had a friend that used it to her own advantage, if she wanted to know something about an interesting topic she’d just ask me a question knowing I wouldn’t rest until I knew the answer and I’d be able to easily relay it to her later. She never had to do the research herself the whole time we were roommates. I laughed so much after she let me know what she was doing.
Nationality/Current Country: French
How long have you been an ARMY? I’m a predebut ARMY, still wondering how I survived.
How did you first discover BTS? My youtube recommandation made me fall into Jin’s lips trap, aka the “school of tears” and that’s how the ride begun.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I guess just seeing them debut made something for me. I used to just casually listen to music, I kinda stanned some groups but seeing BTS begin, it was really something that made me feel enthusiastic, I was quite young and emotional to see them so overwhelmed with the only fact that they had debuted, I felt like I couldn’t quite let them like that, I downloaded twitter a few months later to follow them and, it came just naturally, I got attached to them quite easily.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? I kind of always saw them on my twitter Timeline, I thought that what they were doing was truly amazing and that, as much as I couldn’t really help money-wise, I wish I could so something to help a little bit. I saw them asking for design members, I tried my luck, because I always liked doing things like that. It’s not a big contribution but I’m still very happy to be able to be at least 1% helpful. I truly think that if we all give 1% of ourselves, we could achieve things that are thought to be impossible. I wish I could be a part of that beautiful group for a long time.
What is your role in OIAA? I’m part of the design team!
One fun fact about yourself: I’m a big gamer, used to make pretty big lanes in League of Legends and CS:GO when I had the time! I’m not doing it anymore, but I used to like it a lot (I still enjoy playing, but I have no time to play nearly as much as I used to haha) - and I truly enjoy knowing useless things haha, like, did you know that it was illegal to eat an orange in a bathtub in California?
Nationality/Current Country: USA
Birth year: 1994
How long have you been an ARMY? 2017
How did you first discover BTS? I was learning kpop dances in college and saw/learned the dance for I NEED U.
What made you transition from fan to ARMY? I moved to a new city to chase after my dreams but knew no one so it was a very lonely journey! I was very alone and was going through a hard time when I found SUGA’s So Far Away. I really related to the lyrics and felt comforted that I wasn’t alone in the long chase to achieving dreams. It felt like SUGA had gone through similar emotions like I did and understood me.
Why did you decide to get involved with OIAA? BTS is always spreading love around the world and I wanted to do so too as an ARMY. I’ve been following OIAA for a while and have also done some of my own small things on the side. When I saw the application for design team member, I’d thought I’d give it a shot!
What is your role in OIAA? Design Team Member
One fun fact about yourself: My dream as a little kid was to be a world dominating couch potato.