Double Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     I am living a double life.

At school, I’m an American, but at home, I’m Hmong. It is very difficult because my elders expect a lot from me, and because I’m a female Hmong student, many doubt my ability to do well. I will, however, prove them wrong and succeed. Their criticisms and stories will just make me stronger.

My grandpa told me a story about the lack of education among the Hmong, and as he began, I could hear his pain and see the tears in his eyes. The education program in Laos is very poor so as an arbitrary test to attend school, you must be able to take your left arm, wrap it around the back of your head to the other side, and reach for your ears with your palm. This was devised to limit students due to the lack of money and space. My grandpa encouraged his little brother, Chue Fue, to try out for school, but he failed. Seeing my grandpa go to school every day left him devastated and reduced his motivation. My grandpa couldn’t stand the injustice so when he came home, he would teach Chue Fue everything he had learned. He wanted his brother to have the same education. My grandfather did this every day until they could better themselves by coming to America. After their arrival, my grandfather enrolled Chue Fue in school and went to night school so he could work to support his family during the day. My grandfather never stopped learning. Because of his brother’s determination and encouragement, Chue Fue graduated from the University of Minnesota.

I know my grandpa wants me to succeed in my studies and reach my goals. I will carry on his courage because he is my hero and motivation. I have a lot of sympathy for those who are still in Laos. Like many others, I take what I have for granted. My mother has always told me that since those in Laos will never be as fortunate, I should learn as though I were learning for all of them. That is why I see college as a great opportunity for me to succeed. Someday I plan to go to Laos and teach them what I have learned. Before we can teach and re-teach, we must educate ourselves, which is why I will be a great asset to your college. I am determined and will strive for a better future, not only for myself and my family, but also for those who cannot better their lives on their own.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 4:18 am
i love this so much!
monkeyluvs2write said...
Jan. 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm
I like the story that you told, but I think it would've been better if you explained to us who the Hmong are? You know just some background info to make sure that we know what we're reading about.
Alyssyn said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 11:02 am
That was beautiful. 
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