September 10, 2021

When she was a freshman in high school, Century College alum Mai Yang Xiong knew that she wanted to be a teacher.  “I really love working with children and helping them learn,” she says. “I want to provide resources and knowledge to help others learn.”

Mai is part of a Century College family.  She and four of her eight siblings have attended the College.  “It’s been a great experience.  The teachers and the staff are so helpful, and they make you feel welcome,” Mai notes, “And the tuition is affordable.”

Supportive Environment

Mai had some trepidation when first attending the College, but soon found the support she needed from the SSS TRIO staff.  “The first year at Century was hard,” Mai remembers. “And the TRIO staff helped me with my writing and grammar skills.  Rachel Juen was the best tutor ever, and she also helped me with my paperwork when I was applying for scholarships from the Century College Foundation.  I wouldn’t have been able to graduate without all the help I received.”

A first-generation college student, Mai came to the US when she was eight years old, and, like many Century College students, English is her second language.  (Mai is fluent in both Hmong and English.)  She worked twenty to thirty hours a week while attending Century full time.  After four years, she graduated with her AA degree, and transferred to St. Cloud State, where she is in her last year of college.  In addition, she works as a student teacher at the Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy.

Future Plans

When she graduates, she plans on staying in Minnesota and teaching; however, with a few years of teaching experience, Mai aspires to work overseas, perhaps in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, or South Korea.  She dreams of giving back and teaching others who dream of getting an education.  “I’m so grateful for all the good people in my life,”  Mai says.  “From my good friend Jia, to my siblings and family, to the faculty and staff at Century College.  I’m truly happy to have all those people in my life.

“I want to do my best and become a better person and a better teacher.  And I’m so proud to be part of a Century College family.”

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