Community, Education
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Aim High: Scholarships and Lao American students

College education is expensive, but the statistics show that over our lifetimes it more than pays itself back with most graduates earning more money than those who have no degree at all. For the Lao community, we’ve seen the Census 2010 statistics and others that show that barely 1 in 10 Lao successfully graduate college, and fewer still go on to get a Masters degree or higher.

As a community we need to do what we can to make the process easier for our youth and returning students, and one way we can support them is to help them identify good scholarships they’re eligible for.

There are many scholarships that those with a historically Asian Pacific Islander heritage can apply to. One of the most well-known is the Asian Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund. For over a decade, the Asian Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund has been strengthening communities across the country. APIASF’s mission is “to make a difference in the lives of AAPI students by providing them with resources that increase their access to higher education which serves as the foundation for their future success and contributions to a stronger America.” The deadline for applying is January 8th. You can learn more about their criteria at: and they also have many other good leads for college students to consider.

A faster deadline approaching is October 10th for the The APIASF AANAPISI (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution) Scholarship, which supports full-time Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students at specified institutions. Do your research to see if your student is attending one of these colleges:

The Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund website also has links to many other active scholarships our community members might be eligible for. A few years back, the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland and State Farm Insurance put together a guide to scholarships to consider between 2009-2011, and while it’s now out of date for many of the scholarships, it might still be worth a look, and there are some excellent tips on applying for scholarships in general that can help many in our community, especially when our youth are the first in our famlies to attend college.

The Gates Millenium Scholarship is highly competitive and most of our community leaders agree it’s one our youth should apply to if they’re eligible. The deadline is January 13th, 2016 but it’s an amazing opportunity. Each year they  select 1,000 talented students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship for any college or university of their choice. Gates Millennium Scholars are also provided with personal and professional development through their leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career. You need a 3.3 GPA and must be either African American, American Indian – Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American.

The Ravens Forward Air Controllers who served in Laos during the Vietnam War have the Distinguished Raven FAC Memorial Scholarship. It’s presented annually to “a qualifying descendent of a Lao or Lao-Hmong individual who served in the Royal Laotian Military or Hmong forces in defense of the Kingdom of Laos between 1960 and 1975.” Their deadline for applying is February 28th. The funds are provided to assist with tuition, lab fees, books, and other direct educational expenses.

In April, the Bruce Lee Foundation Scholarships open, usually closing in June. If you have a child whose journey has been impacted by the example of Bruce Lee, consider looking at this one:

It’s been very difficult to get the word out to Lao community members about the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund. Each year they choose a different state to give funds for scholarships. They just closed the window to apply for Northern California, for example, although it was not widely covered in many of the Lao American media networks. The scholarship’s founders were all Nisei, second generation American-born descendants of Japanese immigrants. During World War 2 they were held in American internment camps because of institutionalized racism and political distrust. The NSRCF honors the Nisei and pays tribute to the individuals and organizations who reached across racial differences and wartime hatred to help the Nisei students. The deadline and region for next year will likely be announced soon, so keep an eye out for it.

For our students who want to go beyond a bachelor’s: The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is recommended but the deadline is November 1st, so you have to work fast to get your application in for this year. This one is extremely competitive, but the support they give you throughout your program and beyond are outstanding.

Many of our youth will stand the best chance at succeeding in these scholarships if they can build a good balance of community service, an understanding of their family’s journey, our community’s journey, and a sense of what they’d like to do as they study in college.

These are not always easy applications to fill out because there are essay components involved that can seem intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help to guide you through the applications.

As you look for scholarships, you should also be careful to avoid scams, and in general it’s good to avoid anyone who’s trying to charge you an unreasonable amount to apply to these scholarships. Good luck, and let us know what other scholarships you think we should be looking at.
~Ketmani Kouanchao, EdD
Little Laos on the Prairie


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  3. Another long one. I favor secession prtety much any secession simply as a starting point, a way to get the party started. But, as I’ve argued many times, there is no way that the System is going to allow Whites to secede as long as its own power is mostly intact. That goes for the Northwest, the South, or any other region. In other words, either the System is removed entirely (or so massively weakened that it can no longer aspire to imperial status), or White secession will fail. That makes this, whether we like it or not, essentially a continental struggle. Secession may be easier for people to wrap their minds around, and can serve as a rallying point for many. That’s all to the good, yet it does not go to the essence of the problem: either the System is removed, or Whites will be effectively destroyed. It’s either us or them, that simple. Again, the problem inevitably becomes continental in scope. A few other assorted observations: 1. Racialist Whites are often concerned about equitable solutions, such as dividing America up amongst various ethnic groups (McCulloch’s plan, for example). Everybody should get a piece of the pie, so the thinking goes. This is fundamentally conservative thinking, and it is a mistake except perhaps for propaganda purposes. Non-whites already have homelands, scores and scores of them all over the planet. Mexicans have Mexico, etc. If there were a chance for a truly peaceful solution, divying up America equitably would make considerable sense. I would support such a peaceful partition, and would seek to be fair about it. But that’s not going to happen, and it is a mistake to transfer thought appropriate for peaceful solutions to a situation where it will not apply. Our opponents will not be fair with us, we need to get that through our heads. Whites need to return the favor. 2. Expanding upon the error of conservative thinking, it is ineffective against an aggressive, universalist and totalitarian competitor. Conservatism always plays defense, whereas the anti-white forces always play offense. Imagine playing a football game under those rules you never get to push the ball down the field, never get to score. Obviously, no matter how good your defense is, in time you will lose. The anti-whites understand that this is a continental struggle, and they will not give up their attempts to destroy us until their power is utterly broken. Again, this is a continental struggle, like or not. Our opponents simply cannot afford to let us go our own way in peace. 3. The focus on conventional military strength is a red herring. Think Fourth Generation Warfare, not 1860. 4. For our purposes, old geographical distinctions no longer apply, at least for the most part. Sure, there are some cultural differences between Whites in different areas of the country, but fundamentally this isn’t a North/South issue. Look at a red state/blue state map by county, it’s an eye opener. What you see is a vast red hinterland, which is a fairly good proxy for White flyover country. The blue areas are more like an archipelago, consisting of urban areas, small anti-white enclaves, and a relative handful of black and mestizo dominated rural areas. The map will make clear that the primary dividing line is not North/South, or East/West, or whatever. Rather, the issue is race, and it is continental in scale. 5. The idea that there is some great and irreconcilable difference between the typical Whites of the South and the typical Whites of Indiana, Ohio, etc., is ludicrous. There are some obvious exeptions, like New England, Portland, etc., but in general we should consider flyover our natural territory, whether that be in the North, South, or West. 6. Geographically, the System’s strength is in the Boston Washington Corridor BosWash. For as long as the System exists, it will not and cannot give up this area of the country. Any plan, whether peaceful partition or violent revolution, that does not take this into account is a non-starter and is not connected to reality. 7. We’re going to win, one way or another. Defeatists should be shunned.

  4. Cat says

    Thank you guys so much for posting this! I also want to add that it’s never too late to go back to school. I’m 32 and I’m going back to study Finance. I then plan to go for a masters. I’ll be working full time as well so it may take me longer than 4 years but it’ll be worth it. It’s never too late to make your dreams come true. You just got to plan for it but you can do it!

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