November 4, 2014 (Milwaukee, WI) – The Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA) will hold a unique anniversary celebration on Friday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The event will take place at 4601 N. 84th Street.
Celebrating Three Anniversaries: This year, HAPA celebrates their 10th year anniversary. HAPA is the largest Hmong school in the US, and Milwaukee’s fastest growing Charter School. Enrollment has risen 550 percent in the past decade, with HAPA currently serving nearly 1,300 students from K4-12th grade. In addition, HAPA is one of Milwaukee’s most successful charter schools, with a nearly 100% attendance rate, test scores exceeding MPS averages, and a 100% graduation rate. Graduates are career and college-ready, with many attending Wisconsin’s most prestigious colleges and universities. Furthermore, this event honors both the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and the 40th anniversary of the related dispersion of the Hmong people. The U.S.-Hmong partnership during the Vietnam War led to the persecution and dispersion of the Hmong people to areas around the world, including Milwaukee. HAPA will recognize and honor the sacrifices of both Hmong and American veterans that united us 50 years ago.
The celebration will feature a program of performances by the HAPA school choir and dancers. During the program, a special presentation of awards will honor U.S. veterans, and the Hmong veterans that fought beside them during the Vietnam War, as well as current Hmong members of the U.S. Armed Forces. John Malan of TODAY’s TMJ4, a Purple Heart veteran of Vietnam, will co-present these honors and awards with HAPA Executive Director Chris Her-Xiong. In addition, Lt. Colonel Tou-Fu Vang will challenge and inspire HAPA scholars in attendance. The program will end at 11:30 a.m. with a traditional Hmong meal to follow.
The celebration will continue for the HAPA school community on Saturday, November 8. HAPA scholars, families and staff members have constructed a float and are honored to participate and march in the annual Milwaukee Veteran’s Day Parade.
The Hmong American Peace Academy opened in 2004 in response to the struggle Milwaukee Hmong families faced in maintaining the strong bonds necessary to express their love for their children through the teaching of basic values and making education their top priority. It was the first Hmong Charter School in Wisconsin, opening with 200 students in K-5th grade. In 2012, Hmong American Peace Academy graduated its first senior class of 28 students. Education is the source of hope for maintaining the Hmong culture and embracing the best American values, providing our scholars with opportunities for success as productive citizens.
As a high-performing school, the Wisconsin DPI named both the HAPA Elementary and High School as Schools of Recognition at a ceremony under the capital rotunda. In the spring of 2014, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates named HAPA the Charter School of the Year. HAPA continues to prepare students for success in college and careers. In the next three years, HAPA expects to increase the student population to 2,000 scholars, expanding facilities in ways that will especially benefit HAPA’s early childhood and senior high programs.
In the words of a recent graduate, “HAPA has implemented this vision of remembering our past but to keep moving forward. This quote has helped me appreciate my past, while motivating me to work hard towards my future.”
Hmong American Peace Academy provides students with rigorous academics, character development, and Hmong cultural values, preparing them to excel in colleges, universities and careers. HAPA honors tradition, forge new ground, and explore innovation. It recognizes the road of history and looks forward to the journey before it. It is alive, empathic, mindful, and a servant leader. It builds bridges, mend fences, bring people together and create new ways. HAPA stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration, always ready to lead the way and guide others. FOREVER FORWARD! For more information about HAPA, call 414-383-4944 or visit www.myhapa.org.
Chris Her-Xiong, Founder/Executive Director
Phone: 414.383.4944 (office) or 414.380.4521 (cell)