HCPA Students Take Part In Wisconsin Summer College Tour

By Dave Bonko












Seniors from Hmong College Prep Academy recently completed a tour of Wisconsin colleges and universities.

The Wisconsin Summer College Tour, which began on July 17, provided students the opportunity to visit six Wisconsin colleges and universities including Viterbo University, (La Crosse), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Edgewood College, (Madison), Milwaukee School of Engineering, Marquette University (Milwaukee) and Carroll University (Waukesha). The group logged over 800 miles during their journey.

“This trip was planned so students could see colleges that are a few hours from Saint Paul,” stated HCPA College and Scholarship Manager Toni Marie O’Daniel. “Students were given the opportunity to see smaller colleges all the way up to the big universities.  They were able to see how it felt being in the big city versus going to school in a small town or in the suburbs. Students got to experience the difference between a college that focuses on its students as family and community as well as schools that would provide huge opportunities to travel the world. They also learned about a number of new majors they didn’t know existed prior to the trip.”

Tour highlights included:

  • Coding and programming robots at the Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • A professor-led tour of Viterbo University’s science department.
  • An overnight stay in Carroll University’s suite-style dorms.
  • Visiting the St. Joan of Arc Chapel, a building that was constructed in Europe in the 14th century and rebuilt on the campus of Marquette University.
  • Touring the research labs and experiencing virtual reality simulators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery Center.

“We were able to experience a glimpse of how life was like at Marquette through the many students that passed by on our tour,” stated senior and tour participant Yeng Thao. “We definitely had an advantage in witnessing how great a school this can be for students like us.”

HCPA senior Pa Dra Lor also found the trip to be personally rewarding. “After moving to a different state far away from my family and my hometown in the countryside, I had become very homesick. I came to a city that had a different environment from the countryside. Having to change myself to fit with the rest of the people was difficult. Because of that I had become empty and unsure. That was until I visited Carroll University. It was a delightful place. Including the administrators as well, they are all such generous people. We were allowed to sleep and eat in dorms with friends just like college students. It was a wonderful experience. I learned new things about myself that I never even knew about. Carroll University made me feel alive again. I didn’t want to leave Carroll University because it was like home. But now I know that I do want to go to college and pursue my career because my school life hasn’t end yet.”

Hmong College Prep Academy is located at 1515 Brewster Street in St. Paul, just southeast of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. For more information about other HCPA programs or directions, interested parents and students can call 651-209-8002 or online at www.hcpak12.org. The school is currently enrolling students for the 2018-19 school year. Space is limited.