This story was written by Mattie Branson-Meyer, an AmeriCorps member with College Possible Milwaukee.
This June, Kou and Nhia are graduating from Hmong American Peace Academy in Milwaukee. As extremely active College Possible students, their hard work and dedication to their future has already earned each of them numerous college acceptances. They also have the unique experience of going through the college process together as twins.
It feels amazing working alongside my brother. This whole process feels like a dream come true for the both of us. I remember when we both were little that we wanted to go to college together and now it’s about to happen. It just feels great to have support from someone close to me. The fact that he’s also interested in computers makes it cooler because we’ve been doing the same thing for most of our lives.”
Thinking back to the start of his junior year, Kou reminisced. “I joined College Possible because I heard of how supportive they were with students who needed help getting ready for college. I wanted this support since going into college will be a big step for me.” Kou and Nhia will be the first in their family to attend college and both noted family as the main driver in their decision to pursue a college degree. As Nhia stated, “My family drives me to pursue my college education. To me, going to college and getting a degree will help my family. Being the first person in my family to go to college will mean a lot to me. I will be able to share my experiences with my family who doesn’t have much experience.”
However, family isn’t the only thing driving their decision to go to college. Both plan to pursue a degree in technology. Kou is passionate about computer engineering and Nhia is passionate about computer science. Kou is excited about following his dreams of pursuing something that he enjoys, while also becoming involved in helping others through the development of technology. Nhia has dreamed of working with computers and technology since he was young, and he cannot wait to be part of “some kind of technological innovation.” Throughout our time working together, I have witnessed their drive firsthand. From internships, extracurriculars, research and more, they have examined every angle of their future careers and I know they will be highly successful.
As their time in high school comes to a close, their support and excitement about experiencing this process together continues to flourish. This fall, Kou will be attending the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Nhia will be attending the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Nhia will also be participating in the All-In Milwaukee college completion program and the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program. As for their time with College Possible, Kou leaves us with some words of wisdom: “This experience is something I will never forget, and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they need help with college. The coaches are awesome with helping us out with college applications, FAFSA, scholarships and so much more. If you are trying to join, ask your friends to join as well so you all can enjoy the help that’s needed.”