I am inspired by my grandmother and my parents. They emigrated to the U.S. more than 30 years ago as refugees of the Secret War. I admire them because they have done their best to give future generations, like mine, opportunities for success. When I think that my life is hard, I am reminded that nothing compares to what they went through, and that keeps me going.
During my first year of college, I volunteered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW). I knew instantly that I wanted my career to be dedicated to educating people about the environment so they would be able to improve not only their lives, but also the environment. As a Hmong woman, I have always been one of the few, which made me realize that I wanted to give back to my Hmong community, as well as other communities and share knowledge and resources to help them make decisions to improve their lives and the environment.
Prior to joining Environmental Initiative, I was in charge of the safety program at Tech Dump, but I was eager to get back into work involving environmental issues. I attended one of EI’s 2019 policy forums and was intrigued by the work. I decided to look into the organization and realized that EI’s mission was exactly the direction I wanted to go in my career.
I enjoy the variety of work that I do as a project coordinator. I work across different sectors, including government, small businesses, nonprofits, corporations, and individual policy leaders. This diverse interest area allows me to connect the relationships and needs of each group. Working directly with small businesses and communities brings me the most joy because I’m able to have a local impact.