Neenah Yang’s involvement in TRIO began when she entered 9th grade at Washburn High School; her boundless energy and enthusiasm infused all the programs in which she has participated. Although Neenah did not participate in TRIO until 9th grade, TRIO had been a part of her family for many years prior. Four of her older siblings who graduated from North High School, Washburn High School, and Roosevelt High School were participants of TRIO programs as well.
After her sophomore year, Neenah attended the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth at Macalester College. Through this program she had the chance to live in the dorms and take a class at Macalester for two weeks during the summer. This experience allowed Neenah to see what life at a small college might be like. She was surrounded by talented, supportive people and had the opportunity to develop some independence being away from her family, getting up on her own and getting to class. By her senior year, Neenah was visiting ETS Academic Advisors every day they were at Washburn and decided to pursue an education at a small college – St. Olaf College.
Neenah is a 2006 St. Olaf graduate. At St. Olaf she actively participated in the TRIO Student Support Services program on campus. SSS became a family for her on campus. Coming from a culture where family was really important, the role of SSS was instrumental in her life on campus. Through the SSS Summer Bridge Program, Neenah learned how to prepare for her first year and met people that helped her adjust to college life. Neenah says that SSS Family Fun Nights were her favorite part of the program giving her a chance to talk, eat, and laugh with other TRIO students. She says SSS gave her a place to go.
Her involvement in TRIO not only allowed her to build long lasting relationships with her peers but also with TRIO staff. When asked if she remembers a specific advisor that had an impact on her future, she named multiple TRIO staff members.
“I would love to thank my Educational Talent Search Advisors, Katie Olives and Dan Jackson for helping me with college applications, completing the FAFSA and landing an interview with St. Olaf admissions which guaranteed my acceptance and enrollment into the college. This was the stepping-stone to all the opportunities that came afterwards and I will forever be grateful. As well, I want to thank Kathy Glampe and Janis Johnson for continuing to support me even after graduating from St. Olaf almost 10 years ago.”
In May, 2013, Neenah received her graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently working as a school Social Worker with the Milwaukee Public School District. Being a Social Worker has always been her career goal. In the near future, she hopes to get married and start a family. Neenah also hopes to become an international Social Worker and travel around the world giving back to communities.