All posts tagged: Ketmani Kouanchao

Lao American students: check out these scholarships

Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao wants to remind everyone that deadlines are fast approaching for scholarships. It’s never too young to start building a philanthropic mindset of generosity and compassion. For Lao American students, I would even note that these values are firmly embedded in our culture. But Lao American families and communities need to do more to give our students a chance to practice that sense and joy of service meaningfully. They need opportunities to build confidence and networks of friends and allies now who will be a big part of their journey in the years to come. Read the full article:

Guest Post: Going Back, Paying it Forward

Recently, Miss Minnesota USA 2012, Nitaya Panemalaythong, was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Laos to “help promote business, charitable, and cultural ties between Laos and the U.S.” She’s running a fundraising campaign at in preparation for her trip, which will be the first time she has ever gone to Laos. I remember my first time to Southeast Asia. I felt so many emotions, one of which was excitement and the others were somewhat bittersweet. I was going there to study abroad with a program called SPAN (Student Project for Amity among Nations) at the University of Minnesota when I was a senior in college.  My project was on Child Prostitution and the Prevalence of AIDS. I can still see myself riding the ferry, this lonely, one Lao-American girl crossing the Mekong River with her backpack and luggage, and a gift for my aunt who I hadn’t seen since leaving in the 1970s. The trip was only 10 minutes, but it felt like ages on the water. It was a quiet, almost lonely “homecoming.” When I …