I am a first-generation Hmong-American due to the selflessness of my parents, who gave up everything that they knew in their homeland to immigrate to the United States, all for a better opportunity to provide for my siblings and me. For those who are unaware, the Hmong people are an ethnic minority within the Asian community, typically residing in Southeast Asia – my parents for example were born in Laos but lived in a refugee camp located in Thailand.
I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person, but you wouldn’t know that if you’ve encountered me during my undergraduate years. My time spent at UNC-Chapel Hill has been consumed by a deep dive into service, student organizing, and becoming involved with various political and civic engagement-related initiatives. Over the past three years, any impulse to write a story or poem was pushed down for the sake of “productivity” — with studying, work, or meetings always taking precedent. As I head into my final year as an undergraduate, I’m realizing what a misstep ignoring my creative impulses was. Storytelling provides so much opportunity for both expression and advocacy.