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Hmong American Peace Academy Focuses On Helping Students ‘Achieve the American Dream’

Life Stories: Chris Her-Xiong 4:23

After visiting refugee camps in Thailand with her husband, Chris Her-Xiong said she wanted to find a way to give back and help the children specifically. "We saw disparity, we saw young girls being sold as prostitutes, we saw children not having the education that they need so that they could be productive citizens," Her-Xiong said.

In August of 2000, she pleaded with community leaders and parents to invest in children, and four years later, opened the Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA) charter school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This past year, the senior class at HAPA had a 100 percent graduation rate — a significant statistic considering the national dropout rate of 40 percent of Hmong high school students.

RELATED: Hmong-American Charter School Delivers on an 'Impossible Dream'

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