Saint Paul, Minn. (Feb. 24, 2010) – For their commitment to families in the Hmong community, Sydney Chang, Mai Nhia Lor, Mai Blia Vang, and Kate B. Lee were presented with Parent Leadership Awards from Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota at the State Capital on last week in honor of National Parent Leadership Month.Sydney Chang, a career specialist at Rogers High School was nominated by Soua Lee of Hmong American Partnership. She was recognized for endurance and determination to improve herself and her family as an an active community member, parent leader, learner and worker.
Chang, a Brooklyn Park resident, received her Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While working three years to complete her degree, she worked full time as a Bilingual Specialist and fulfilled her duties as a mother of four children.
Chang is a past member of the Hmong Women Society in Sheboygan, and a Fellowship Coordinator at her church. She and her family moved to Minnesota in 2007.
Mai Nhia Lor of Saint Paul is recognized for perseverance as a role model in the face of adversity.
Nominated by Soua Lee of Hmong American Partnership, Lor graduated from Highland Park High School in 2000. She married during high school and worked in the social service area with Target Direct, Lifetrack Resources, and Way to Grow, with a side job as a “doula”, helping pregnant women deal with their pregnancy through support, education, and resources.
Even as a mother of three, Lor remained active in the Twin Cities Hmong community and has been involved with many programs and events in the past. Her skills, responsibility and motivation brought good jobs to provide for her family despite a lack of a higher education.
Recently unemployed, Lor keeps her spirits up as an expectant mother, taking care of the home and kids, watering her many plants and planning to study social work in college.
Mia Blia Vang of St. Paul, is a second year nursing student at St. Catherine’s University. Nominated by Soua Lee of Hmong American Partnership, Vang is recognized as “a very strong woman.”
Vang was a member of the National Honor Society in high school. As a wife and mother without many resources, she enrolled in the Family & Community Partnership Program at Hmong American Partnership. As a wife and mother, Vang is described as someone who doesn’t have many people around to help her, but who still gives a lot of help others.
Kate B. Lee of Oakdale, is a Financial Aid Officer at Rasmussen College who was nominated by Soua Lee of Hmong American Partnership as someone who balances her professional and family life and has time to be involved in community and church.
Lee has a Criminal Justice degree from Concordia University, Saint Paul, and is currently working on a Master’s in Finance and expected to graduate in winter 2011.
Now married for 10 years with two children, Lee is the Associate Sunday School Director and teaches grades 1-3 at Followers of Christ Hmong Baptist Church in St. Paul. Her other church leadership roles include the Women’s Fellowship Group, the Fundraising Coordinator for the Church Building Fund Committee, and Acteens Representative for Women’s Missionary United.
Established in 1979, Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides child abuse and neglect prevention efforts to Minnesota families and to child abuse prevention workers and volunteers in our state.