“I want to teach where I grew up in East St. Paul so that I can be a positive role model.”

Va Xiong’s family immigrated from Thailand to St. Paul when he was a child, and his parents stressed the importance of education. His first experiences with teaching came at home, where in his family of 10 siblings there is a long tradition of older siblings teaching their younger brothers and sisters. Now as a history major at the U of M, he is honing his critical thinking skills as he prepares to teach social studies. He also works for the U of M’s Office of Admissions, and hopes to use his higher education experiences to help his future middle or high school students get into college.

Read more about Va’s advice to future teachers.



I had a teacher that I looked up to who was really fun to be around, and that’s when I first thought that I could be that same role model.”

Working with youth:

Because they’re so young and open, you can pour your knowledge into them. And if students are falling behind, I want to help them catch up.”