2018-2019 AANAPISIS Scholars

Benjin
Benjin Thao 
Hometown:
White Bear Lake, MN
Highschool: Harding Senior Highschool
Major(s): Family Social Science
Graduation Year: 2021

What are your future and career plans/goals?
I hope to go to graduate school to become a family therapist and continue serving my community in St. Paul. Along my journey, I hope to gain skills for in and outside the country to better serve diverse communities.

What does being Asian American mean to you?
Being an Asian American means that I have a special identity in my community. And that understanding myself also comes with understanding my privileges and struggles.

How have you grown in your own identity since starting college?
Yes, I have come to appreciate my identity because it has been lost. But I am glad to say I found it and am glad to be who I am.

What is one thing you have learned about yourself since starting college?
I notice that I still face a lot of indirect discrimination and systematic oppression in the education system. But I have also learned how to voice and take positive actions to advocate for myself and my community.

Mayflower Vang
Mayflower Vang
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Highschool: Harding Senior High School
Major(s): Biology Society Environment BA
Graduation Year: 2021

What are your future and career plans/goals?
I plan to graduate with my BSE bachelor and plan to go on for grad school focusing on Pharmacy.

What does being Asian American mean to you?
Being an Asian American is "opportunity" and "unity" because we have the opportunity to be able to reach our goals and because of our identity it brought us all together and united.

How have you grown in your own identity since starting college?
My road of growing into my identity as both a bumpy and a smooth journey because at one point I came to understand what my role is as a Hmong Woman in my culture, and  I have grown to hate and detach myself away from my culture because of the flaws that has shaped many of the older generations to not be able to grasp their dreams. However, as I start to grow and explore the culture of my identity again I started to gain more knowledge about the role of "women" in my culture and use its flaws to improve our generations in the future. Not everything is perfect and that is what I really grasped from my identity.

What is one thing you have learned about yourself since starting college?
I have learned that I, my identity, the history of my culture, and practices are not perfect. What matters is that I continue to look out for it and seek the truth and the flaws of myself and improve today to make my tomorrow better.
 

Pa Nhia
Pa Nhia Moua
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Highschool: Washington Technology Magnet School
Major(s): Kinesiology
Graduation Year: 2020

What are your future and career plans/goals?
I plan to further the focus of my undergrad and go to PT (physical therapy) school. I would like to, in the long run, have my own private practice that will work well with and accept insurances that low-income families have.

What does being Asian American mean to you?
Being Asian American is about being part of two worlds, and trying to find a way to merge the two into a world that is good for me.

How have you grown in your own identity since starting college?
Yes, I definitely have. I have tried my best to speak out about the microaggressions that I experience, while at the same time speak about the issues wrong in my ethnic community. Since college, I have done a lot of self-reflection, and try to do so on a daily basis.

What is one thing you have learned about yourself since starting college?
Something that I have learned about myself, or rather, my take on life since college is that it is more beneficial for me to focus and stress on the things I can control rather than waste time and effort on the things I do not have control over. Life will give you lemons and lemon leaves, with some dirt, but its up to you on what you choose to pick up, and what you choose to make lemonade with. Always be humble, kind, and good to others, and yourself.

 

King Yang
King Yang
Hometown:
Brooklyn Center, MN
Highschool: Park Center IB World School
Major(S): Biology, Society, and Environment
Graduation Year: 2021

What are your future and career plans/goals?
I plan to go travel abroad and pursue Pharmacy school after my undergraduates.

What does being Asian American mean to you?
Being Asian American to me, means that I am culturally rich and that I have the opportunity to improve not just my life but my family, my community, and the people I cherish.

How have you grown in your own identity since starting college?
I have grown to be proud and grateful of my Hmong roots, proud of who I have become, and to value my peers and the amazing people that I have met since college.

What is one thing you have learned about yourself since starting college?
I learned to not put my life on auto-pilot, but that I should be taking initiatives to expose myself to different experiences and to reach out to all the astounding resources and opportunities available to me.