Chao Chang has always valued higher education. In pursuit of better opportunities and lives for their children, Chao’s parents immigrated to America from Thailand. Today Chao holds her education in high regard.
A public health major, she plans to go to graduate school for a master’s degree in student personnel administration, then work in higher education, perhaps in a college admission office.
Chao chose to major in public health because health was a big concern in her family when she was growing up. Her parents do not speak English, so it was difficult for them to go to the doctor for illnesses. “I wanted to take charge of my family’s health and my own,” Chao said.
She chose the program at Carroll University primarily because of the size of the student population. “I wanted to be in a learning environment where I can have one-on-one meetings with professors and be able to engage in interactive courses,” Chao said.
Since her high school days, Chao has been an avid volunteer mentoring other students. “I have always been very satisfied with helping others,” she said. In high school, she participated in the Sponsor a Scholar program; at Carroll, she is a part of the Public Health Club, the Youth to Discover mentoring program, where she mentors at-risk students and encourages them to go to college, and the Asian American Student Association (AASA), which she started in 2011.
Her goal for AASA was to gather interested individuals of Asian and non-Asian heritage in an educational, cultural and social organization. The association seeks to cultivate awareness and promote the understanding of Asian and Asian-American affairs by sharing the many aspects of their experiences, as well as encouraging community at Carroll that is more unified and diverse.
Chao’s success is due, in part, to the grants and scholarships she is honored to receive. She hopes someday to establish a scholarship for young Hmong women like herself who wish to pursue higher education.
Written by Rose Rementer ’12