Cultural Conversations: Wausau man promotes youth development in Hmong community

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Yee Leng Xiong began his career at the Wausau Hmong American Center as Youth Program Coordinator in 2016 and now as Executive Director, youth development is his top priority.

He says since working with the Hmong American Center he’s made it his mission to serve the community.

“I became very eager to serve,” Xiong explained, “to basically make sure that we had somebody in place that would be able to provide services to Southeast Asian community and also many of the youth.”

He says he believes it’s important to see the potential in many young adults he services.

“These are youth who people were considering, or members of the community were basically saying they were lost causes or individuals who are not crucial to the community here or they’re not contributing members,” Xiong said. “But me being an individual who strongly felt the need to ensure these youth are able to have a second chance.”

Fostering young adults’ growth is a major contributor to fostering the growth of the entire community, according to Xiong.

“Many of the individuals that participate in the program contributed thousands of hours in the time period they’ve been with the Hmong American Center,” Xiong explained, “back to the community.”

Xiong also serves on the DC Everest School Board, Board of Trustees for the Village of Weston and Marathon County Board of Supervisors.

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