Houa Vang '96

I came to this country as refugee back in 1979. I did not have any educational background whatsoever. I was the very first person to graduate with a four year degree in my family of 14 children. As a child, I had always wanted a good life and the opportunity to help the community. I envisioned myself advocating for women and children right in the Hmong community. However prior to my attending Lakeland, I did not have the confidence to acheive what I really wanted to do even though I knew what I wanted. Attending Lakeland opened my eyes to two things. It gave me the confidence to know that a person can do and can be anything they want. It really empowered my confidence to initiate the changes I wanted to bring to women and children. It gave me the inner strength to stand up for moral values. The second thing my Lakeland education did was open the door to see the world of religion and belief. I used to be so narrow-minded about other religions because I was raised a Christian. I now understand religion in a different way and more in-depth. I learned to appreciate and accept other people's religions now more than ever. Most importantly, I was able to find a job within a federal government agency that has allowed me to serve people from all walks of life.


Houa Vang

class of 1996





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