Check out this Fresno born beauty’s interview with Hmoodle. She’s currently graduated from a field in high demand, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Feel free to read our one-on-one with Nancy and discovered the story behind how she got into SLP, moved to manitowoc then back to Fresno and many more…
Hmoodle: Please give us a 10 second introduction to Nancy Vang?
Nancy: Hi everyone, my name is Nancy Vang and I am 22 years old. I am the middle child of a family of seven. I currently reside in Fresno, California where I tutor elementary school students and as of recently, work as a behavioral therapist for children with autism.
Hmoodle:Why did you and your family moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin then back to Fresno?
Nancy: My parents decided to move our family to Manitowoc when I was really young to seek more employment opportunities. However, being far away from our family in Fresno really took a toll on them and eventually they decided that moving back would be the best way to provide a more solid family support system for us to fall back on. So we sold our house, gave away most of our belongings, and packed a van to drive here to California! The move was difficult and I remember being so angry with my parents for it, but now looking back I can completely understand their reasons for making that change.
I always tell people that yes, I was born here in California but I was raised in Wisconsin. It will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where my pleasant childhood memories take place.
Hmoodle:How was Manitowoc compare to Fresno?
Nancy: Manitowoc is by far smaller than Fresno. I believe there’s only one high school in the whole town. Also, there’s a smaller Hmong community in Manitowoc. I was often labeled as “white-washed” as result of my upbringing there since the population isn’t as diverse as it is here in Fresno. I definitely experienced a culture shock when we moved. There are differences in school curriculum/rules, fashion, weather, and most definitely slang. For example, “Hella/hecka” does not exist in the mid-west. Also, no one here knows what a “bubbler” is.
Hmoodle: Have you gone to any other states besides California and Wisconsin whether is for leisure or business purposes?
Nancy: Yes! Every summer as a child, my parents would drive us to Minnesota to visit my mother’s side of the family. That’s how I learned of the large Hmong community in St. Paul and experienced many of the fun things there are to do there. My father often took us on road trips so we traveled to quite a lot of places. Not to mention, we drove three days across the country to get to California hitting every state along the way.
Hmoodle: How important is education and family to you?
Nancy: They are incredibly important to me. Growing up, I always carried the mindset that education would set me free. As a Hmong girl, there are many restraints on what I can and cannot do, so by pursuing my education, I feel like I earn myself a voice. I deeply value it and take pride in all my academic accomplishments. I believe there’s nothing more worthy of respect than being a generous, knowledgeable individual.
Also, family to me is the people who remain there to support you even at your lowest. I recognize that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the sacrifices my parents made coming to this country to build better lives out of basically nothing. They embody the strength it takes to start from the bottom and I admire them so much for it.
Hmoodle:You recently graduated from California State University, Fresno holding a BA in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies, tell us how did you got into this field and what’s unique about it?
Nancy: It all happened by chance, really. I began my 4 years at Fresno State as an undeclared major. I had no idea what field to go into and I did not want to settle for whatever people told me to do. One day I walked past a bulletin board that offered American Sign Language interpreting as a major. I took a few classes of it but felt like it wasn’t the right path for me. One of my classmates told me about the field of Speech-Language Pathology and I was immediately intrigued. I researched like crazy on it and finally decided on declaring it as my major. All these sub-majors (SLP, Audiology, Deaf Ed., Interpreting) fall under the general major of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies. Something unique about it is that not many people are aware of it! Speech pathologists are in high demand and every professional I talked to about it showed genuine passion for the field.
Hmoodle: You mentioned that you have written three articles and were featured in The Fresno Bee under Valley Voices, what were those articles about and where can our Hmoodle readers find them online?
Nancy: My articles centered on issues related to the Asian American community. The first article I wrote is titled, “What is with the Asian girl fetish?” In it I discuss how “Yellow Fever” and the fetish for Asian women not only objectifies a specific race of women, but also perpetuates a false stereotype that render them powerless in expressing their own perception of themselves. It also touches on the other sides of the argument.
The second article I wrote is titled, “A culture where ‘I love you’ is silent.” It talks about how rare verbal expressions of love are exchanged in an Asian household. It also examines a heartwarming video that went viral where young Asian Americans called their parents to say, “I love you” to them.
The third article I wrote is titled, “An Asian American watches ‘Fresh Off the Boat’” This was on my initial reaction to the ABC comedy series. I comment on the lack of Asian representation in the media and how it affects us as Asian Americans growing up in this country.
You can find and read these articles on The Fresno Bee website listed under “Valley Voices.”
Hmoodle: You’re also running a blog about your personal experiences and your journey of overcoming depression, where can Hmoodle viewers find your blog?
Nancy: Readers can find my blog at: notebooknancy.blogspot.com
Hmoodle: What’s your advice to fight depression and low self-esteem?
Nancy: My advice to fight depression is to seek professional help. There are services out there readily available and there’s no shame in utilizing them. I still struggle with depression so I know first-hand how frustrating it is when people who have never dealt with it or experienced it feel like they have the credibility to preach on how easy it is to get over. Newsflash: “staying positive” is not the cure. Talk to the professionals, go in for therapy, and take it a day at a time.
To battle low self-esteem you need time to mature and become wiser. The older you get, the more you will understand that deep down within every person is just a vulnerable, scared child wanting to be accepted by society. We all have low self-esteem at one point in our lives but it’s how we react to it that truly determines whether or not we could ever be fully accepting of ourselves.
Hmoodle: Tell us how you got into modeling/fashion show?
Nancy: A talented designer named Amy Yang reached out to me on Facebook to model a stunning dress of hers in the Revived Fashion Show. At first I was hesitant because I was an extremely camera/spotlight shy person. However, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and tried it anyway. Since then, I’ve dabbled in some modeling here and there.
Hmoodle: How was your experienced with Revived Fashion Show and the Lemode Vintage Fashion Show?
Nancy: It was a great experience! I learned that modeling isn’t just about showcasing your individual beauty. It’s about being apart of someone’s vision/art and working with a team to achieve it. I met a lot of nice people and gained insight on how fashion shows and photo-shoots typically run. Interesting enough, I also learned that some of the most flawless girls are the most insecure about their looks.
Hmoodle: We all need a break from our busy schedules and planning for the future, what are you hobbies?
Nancy: I love writing, dancing, reading, singing (badly), and learning new things. I also enjoy playing with my 8-month-old husky, Twinkle. She brings happiness into my life.
Hmoodle: Have you ever participant in a Hmong traditional dance?
Nancy: Yes I have! I took dance classes in high school and performed Hmong traditional dances for shows. In college while I worked as an afterschool tutor, I would teach elementary students Hmong dance as a fun enrichment class.
Back in the summer of 2014 I proposed, created, and taught the first Asian Dance class for the After School University. I was met with a lot of criticism for it because people told me non-Asian students wouldn’t have any interest in learning about Asian history, culture, and dance, but with hard work I proved them wrong. At the end of the program, my non-Asian students made me proud with their performance and showed excitement for learning so much they didn’t know about the Hmong culture.
Hmoodle: Are you more Americanize or still very traditional as well?
Nancy: I would have to say I carry a more Americanized mentality about things. My family still holds very traditional beliefs and I embrace my culture whole-heartedly but as I’ve grown older I can recognize which parts of it I agree or disagree with.
Hmoodle: Where do you see yourself 3-5 years from now?
Nancy: Life can take us in so many different directions, so who knows where I’ll be in a couple of years? My goal, however, is to have completed my master’s in my field of study. By then I would also like to have way more projects under my realm of experience.
Hmoodle: Your life long goal is to inspire others, have you ever thought of becoming a motivational speaker?
Nancy: I feel like my public-speaking ability would have to dramatically improve before I even consider becoming a motivational speaker. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so if I’m not at the TEDtalk level, I won’t feel like I’m ready.
Hmoodle: Any words for your supporters, family, friends and off course Hmoodle’s reader?
Nancy: I would like to thank Hmoodle for featuring me as Miss Hmoodle Beauty for the month of August and the readers for taking the time to read my interview. I also want to thank all the people in my life that shared kind words with me during my time of struggles. A special shout-out to my love, Brandon.