Meet the HWN: Vu Vue

“You do not have to be the smartest, the brightest crayon in a box, but as long as you have the motivation, the drive, the dedication, and the perseverance; you are going to be okay.”

Vu Vue is 28 years old and resides in Milwaukee, WI. She has her MA in Social Work and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker who is a Care Coordinator at UnitedHealth Group, Photographer.

Vu Vue 1Vu hopes to instill in our youth and women knowledge in both the field of Social Work and Photography, as they work hand in hand. “Social Work can be a stressful profession, depending on the population and field of work. Photography is a great outlet for me where I am able to do something I enjoy while still bringing in additional income. When I am out shooting a session, I am focused on the task at hand, I am in the ‘here and Now'”.

Vu expressed an interest in photography back in 2009 when she bought her first DSLR. After spending two years photographing her families and friends, she first began her photography business in 2011. “Photography is something I”ve been doing on and off since then. Originally, I started with the V.V. Captured Photography, then to Vu Vue Photography, and in 2016, I re-branded to something more unique but still simple: Sunkissed Photography.”

What a privilege to have interviewed and discuss with Vu on her education, profession, and the significance on being a Hmong women. To highlight some of the key points we’ve discussed in the video, Vu shared:

  • Pursuing an undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Services and a graduate degree in Social Work.
  • Opportunities in the field of Social Work
  • Challenges in the field of Social Work
  • Balancing between your professional and personal interests
  • Developing a career in photography
  • Misconceptions on a career in Art
  • Using fear to fuel motivation

I encourage you to either sit and watch the entirety of the interview or play it in the background as you are cooking, cleaning, or working because I promise you will find your motivation to keep moving.

If there are any questions you have after watching the video you are welcome to reach out to Vu through her email or Facebook account. 

Sunkissed Photography







Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Yengyee Lor

“Each and everyone of you is so capable and competent of being not only a leader for yourself, living your wildest dream, but taking on leadership positions.”

Yengyee Lor

Yengyee Lor was born in a Thailand Refugee camp and now resides in Weston, Wisconsin. She received her BA in Social Work, MA in Counseling and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology.

She is the CEO and Founder of Faithful Consulting LLC, a leadership and team coaching organizational development consulting business. She believes, “Leadership is very important to learn from a young age because it can teach a person to be more confident and empowered. When we are confident and empowered, we are able to accomplish things, influence others, make an impact, and live our true selves.

I was privileged to participate with Yengyee in a Livechat where we discussed on the importance of recognizing our potential and tackling the gremlins we encounter as we partake leadership roles in our professions, education, and life. We also discussed on how to embark on a coaching profession including programs and the growth mindset.

In our one hour chat, we discussed multiple topics including what leadership embodies, prerequisites in taking on leadership roles, how to overcome insecurities, how to know what coaching business to go into, and the marvelous group of Hmong individuals we see today in our community.

I encourage you to watch the video, be empowered, and partake your own leadership journey as it is one of the most essential life skill.

Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Trish Yang

“In order to truly love yourself, you have to put yourself first…surround yourself with positive and supportive people who [will] push you.”

trish-yang-12-e1504387976406.jpgI had an opportunity to interview and discuss with Trish Yang, an Independent Beach Body Coach, who discussed ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle despite the challenges and skepticism she encountered.  Trish was a two time winning gold medalist in the Bikini Body Building competition and has since transformed many other women and men’s lifestyle.  Trish operates several private groups where she guides and plan with many individuals on specific workout routines and schedules including nutrition.  Not only does she help others to succeed in the path she has walked, she gives everyone in the group the authority to be accountable for their success.

If you look forward to transforming your own lifestyle or at least to get a glimpse at what it can possibly look like, join Trish and the many other men and women who have already started and succeeded.


Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Maiyia Vue

“when something ends in devastation, it is the beginning of something worth living for.”


My Name is Maiyia Vue and I am 30 years old. I was born in Thailand and grew up in Fresno, CA. I am married to a wonderful man and we are going on our 4th baby together. I am the owner of MV Artistry Permanent Makeup in Fresno, CA and I am also a singer/musician/songwriter. One of my long term  goals is to help preserve the Hmong Language  through music. My children are my biggest  inspiration in life. There was a long period of time that I gave up doing music because I was so caught up in life, but after falling in love with motherhood and seeing how precious my children were, I was inspired to follow my dreams again to show them that they can do anything in life. I told my husband, “How can I look at my children in their faces and tell them to follow their dreams when I did not do so myself?” Today they are my biggest support group and now I am living to pursue what I was born to do.

Like many people, I worked an 8-5 job and gave up following my dreams. Even after pursuing my bachelors in business and working a stable job I was so unhappy in life. Life was getting harder trying to balance time, family, and work all the while being so unmotivated and drained. I eventually lost my job due to my lack of enthusiasm and motivation. I was devastated because all I’ve done was invest my time in others and now with no job, I had nothing for myself. I knew I did not want to find another unfulfilling dead end career. Even in the lowest of my time, I knew this was my turning point. I knew it was up to me to turn this all around. This is the time to go back and use the skills I love and know. I eventually found the will power to pursue permanent makeup and opened up my own business with the support of my husband. It brought me so much happiness to have an empire of my own and with that drive; I was able to pursue my music again. Once again, I was like the young me, filled with motivation and inspiration to go after what I love. I learned in this experience that when something ends in devastation, it is the beginning of something worth living for.

The most challenging part about where I am in my life right now is time management. With small young children, managing a business, and trying to pursue life goals; it is extremely challenging. It is so helpful to surround yourself with women who have been where you are. I love connecting with groups like this one, and like Hmong Women Today because they are so inspiring and are filled with like-minded thinkers. You have to surround yourself with the right people and filter out those who will pull you down. Also, if you are in a relationship, whether married or dating, it is so important to have a significant other that also believes in your dreams. Remember, be with the right people.

Being a Hmong women means being strong beyond the strength we think we possess. Many women ask me how I do it and the honest truth is, I do not know but I just do it and my ability just comes! I am so proud to be a Hmong Woman, a mother, an artist and a musician. Choose the right people to stand by you in all you do and most importantly, be humble, kind and always willing to help others.

“Choose the right people to stand by you in all you do and most importantly, be humble, kind and always willing to help others.”

Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Emily Vue

“…what is the worse that could happen, if it doesn’t work out then I’ll be right where I am, but if it does work out I could embark on a whole new journey I could not even imagine.”

Emily Vue

Hello, My name is Emily Vue. Currently 20 years old, majoring in both International Business and International Studies at Pittsburg State University.  I was born in California and moved to Arkansas when I was about nine years old. I’m pretty much a country girl, I grew up on a farm. I love the outdoors and I don’t mind a country song here and there. My high school was not very diverse. There were a total of three Hmong people in my graduating class, including myself. One of my hobbies is modeling. I have been modeling since I was 15 years old. Another one of my hobbies is Hmong dancing. I have been Hmong dancing since I was 7 years old. My long term goal is to end sex-trafficking.

As any Hmong girl would know, growing up you are told how limited you are. You can’t do this and that because, you’re a girl. That pretty much motivated me to do more and accomplish more and to prove that even though I am a girl, I can do anything I put my mind to. That my gender does not define me in anyway.

During my college career, I have been able to work on projects that have allowed me to change my view on the world and appreciate life in a different aspect. It helped me learn about myself and what I can be capable of. I’m part of an organization at my school called Pitt State Enactus. There are different projects within the organization; you are allowed to pick which project you are most interested in.

Emily 9
Cambodia, March 2016

My freshmen year of 2016, I picked the Cambodian Project. The Cambodian Project consist of assisting Krista Thomason and helping her expand her business, Hepz Apparel. Hepz gives a sustainable income to 7 Cambodian women, who are currently living on Women’s Island. The modern day location of the killing fields during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and a current hot spot for trafficking. All 7 women have been trafficked and saved. After working on this project for about 7 months, I was given the opportunity to travel with Krista and two other students to Cambodia to meet these 7 women. Changing my life forever.  A second project I had the opportunity to be a part of occurred in April of this year. I traveled to Haiti to research a potential project. This project will consist of us creating hydroponic system to allow the orphanage to grow their own food.

Remarkably, another event took place this year.  In march, I was elected governor of the Kansas District for Circle K International. This position entails me being in charge of all of the Circle K International Clubs in all Kansas University Campuses.

Emily 13A significant challenge throughout my career was myself comparing and trying to compete with other people. However, I have slowly started to learn it did not make me necessarily feel good about myself. Instead I changed my mindset to being a better me and making me happy. I stopped caring about what others thought about the decisions I was making and started focusing on what is best for me. My advice for those who aspire to follow their dreams is to give yourself opportunities. It’s not luck, it’s hard work. If you know you want to do something start planning for it now. However, once you have your plan you must act. It’s okay to fail. One thing I always tell myself is what is the worse that could happen, if it is doesn’t work out then I’ll be right where I am, but if it does work out I could embark on a whole new journey I could not even imagine.

From as young as I can remember, I was taught to be hard working because when I do get married I would have to cook and clean for my husband’s family. Therefore, I took that hard-working aspect we were taught at a young age and applied it to my future and career versus viewing it as being a slave. What I hope to instill in other women and our youth is, if there’s something you want to do with your career then just go for it. Why care what people think or say? Live for yourself. Before anyone else can love, respect, or care about you . You must love, respect, and care for yourself.

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Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Susan Her

“Being a Hmong woman, there is no definition to it.”

Susan Her, an alumna from UC Berkeley, received her BA in Integrative Biology with a focus in Human Biology and Health Services.  She is currently attending the University of the Pacific’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as a first year pharmacy student.  After completing pharmacy school, Susan will receive her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree and hopes to provide service for the under-served communities.

Susan Her

In our interview, Susan covered essential topics regarding pharmacy school prerequisites; available financial resources; and a list of remarkable resources, ideas, and strategies to prepare for and survive pharmacy school. If you have missed the opportunity to tune into the Live Broadcast and a chance to ask burning questions, you still have opportunities to watch the interview below and reach out to Susan with questions we have not covered. Whether you are interested or not in Pharmacy school, it would still be a great decision to watch the interview to gain insight on the Pharmacy career pathway.  You will be able to inform families and friends who are interested in Pharmacy school and are not sure where to begin.

The amazing Susan has left with us her contact info which will be provided below.  Do not hesitate to reach out and ask questions or guidance in beginning your career today!


Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Chia Vang

“Jump the leap of faith! We will never know what is on the other side until we do it!”

– Chia Vang


Meet Chia Vang, an alumna from CSU Fresno.  Several years ago, she received her BS in Criminology and MS in Rehabilitation Counseling.  Today she continues her Ph.D in Philosophy of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  To pursue her Ph.D, she has left her hometown to live in Texas where she works two jobs as a Teacher and Research Assistant.

I was honored to have had Chia as our next Hmong Women Now representative.  During our interview she shared brilliant ideas and suggestions regarding questions around graduate schools.  Additionally, she shared multiple strategies on being successful as a graduate student both in the Masters and Doctors’ programs. Five very important tips she shared were seeking academic counseling, volunteering, networking, prioritizing, and continuing to challenge ourselves as students.

The interview was far from inspirational.   It was absolutely constructive and informative. I will not be able to summarize the highlights or significant points of the interview because every second was extremely beneficial. I encourage you to watch the interview and really pay attention to every part of the discussion.  Whether you are planning to attend college, are attending college, or deciding to continue your education I assure you this video will both guide you and challenge you to “jump the leap of faith”.