Message from HAP’s President and CEO
Hello and Welcome,
I invite you to learn more about HAP’s work and communities we serve. The people we serve arrive from countries around the world. Many of these people have overcome incredible obstacles to travel to safety and start a new life for their families. The single most defining feature of our clients is the determination to better their circumstances.
Yet, at times determination alone is not enough. While the Hmong have lived in the United States for 40 years, unemployment, educational disparities, and high levels of poverty still plague the community. Nationally, 40% of all Hmong do not graduate from high school. Poverty rates are staggeringly high. In Minnesota, 35% of Hmong families with children under the age of 18 are living with incomes below federal poverty guidelines.
Although the community needs are complex and challenging, HAP sees only potential. The Hmong are proven entrepreneurs and warriors. Our history has proven we see opportunity in the smallest margins and we have certainly faced difficult challenges in our past.
To chart a new path for the community, we will continue investments in social enterprises and employment programs to shape a new economy, creating jobs and training opportunities for the refugee community. HAP’s youth and education programs are also being expanded. Our award-winning health and wellness services remain a priority, and we will continue to roll out a series of initiatives over the next few years.
Our future must be transformed together. The Hmong’s perseverance and strength through extreme hardship has always lied in our self-respect and pride of heritage. Our future prosperity will only be realized through a collective identity. Please join our work. Become a youth mentor, hire our clients, teach an English class, donate — whatever you choose — but become involved.
In humble service,
President and CEO