The 9th Pursuit of Higher Education (PoHE)
The Hmong Student Association at Berkeley (HSAB) is a student-initiated service group established in 2008 with the mission to promote higher education and cultural understanding of the Hmong community. To amplify the Hmong voice in higher education, the Hmong Student Association at Berkeley initiated the Pursuit of Higher Education (PoHE) program in 2008. PoHE is a three-day, two-night educational program from Friday, April 3rd to Sunday, April 5th, 2020 located at the University of California, Berkeley. The program caters, but is not limited, to Hmong high school students from the northern and central regions of California. Selected participants will have the opportunity to participate in academic and cultural workshops, develop leadership skills through peer-bonding activities, and learn more about the Hmong history and culture.

HSAB provides a safe space for those who identify as underprivileged, underserved, LGBTQ+, disabled, or not on a path towards higher education and encourages everyone to apply. We strive to address the underprivileged and underserved Hmong communities that are prominent in Northern and Central California and recognize this as an ongoing issue for the pursuit of higher education. Thus, whether or not applicants intend or remain unsure about their path towards higher education, we hope to provide various types of support in PoHE for any path they take. We aim to share tools for educational, professional and individual growth through workshops and activities that help individuals empower themselves and each other. 

This is an all-expense paid program, which includes food, transportation, and housing. All high school students in northern and central California are eligible to apply. Please take note that academic performance is not a factor in the acceptance of participants, thus all students from various academic backgrounds and experiences are highly encouraged to apply. If you are accepted into the program, you will be missing school on Friday, April 3rd. Please inform your parent/guardian and plan accordingly, as HSAB is not held responsible for school absences.

This year's theme is "Reclaiming Our Identity". With this theme in mind, we want to focus on how an individual's Hmong identity and American identity intersects to create our narrative. What does your identity mean to you? What aspects of you do you consider your identity? For the Hmong community, we endure so much intergenerational trauma and often feel lost. We have many identities that overlap, which often presents us with various paths to take; however, whether we identify with having a disability, struggling academically, or as LGBTQ+ and despite the challenges we come across, we need to be reminded that we are never alone. We each have our own narrative and together our narratives can empower us on our journey of courage, determination, and resilience towards higher education. We hope to come together at this crossroad of our lives to learn, build, and grow so we can continue our Hmong-American journey as individuals and as a community.


This application is comprised of general information and two personal responses. Applicants are not evaluated based on academics (GPA), disability or ability, or sexuality as we are a safe space for all. Everyone is encouraged to apply!

Applications are due by Sunday, February 23rd, 11:59 PM. Applications submitted after the deadline will NOT be considered.

Applicants will be contacted upon receipt of application and selected participants will be notified in the beginning of March.

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