MILWAUKEE - The first day of high school is a big deal for every student. But on Thursday, Sept. 2, the staff at the Hmong American Peace Academy (4601 N. 84th Street, Milwaukee) welcomed students to a new school building.
"This is the first day of school for our scholars. We have 450 high school scholars attending on the first day of school and we’re so excited," said Chris Her-Xiong, Hmong American Peace Academy CEO.
"This school is actually built to have a goal of like a college atmosphere. So with that, it gives us an opportunity to be really motivated, and have that first experience," said Aleana Xiong, a senior.
The academy has built a new high school for members of the Hmong community – inspired by home.
Hmong American Peace Academy
"We believe strongly that without heritage we are nothing. So our students need to know who they are and where they come from so they can be productive citizens. In that way they need to know their history, their language, and their cultures," said Chris Her-Xiong.
The school was designed to help young scholars go beyond their General Educational Development (GED).
"I’m very excited to apply for college, scholarships, and just get ready for college itself," Xiong said.
Classrooms are given modern academic accommodations. Students appear eager to be attending in person – even with coronavirus protocols in place.
"Virtual school year was like a traumatic experience. Just not being able to have that intentional relationship with your teachers," Xiong said.