New Hope, MN — Pang Yang is on a mission to close the opportunity gap for Hmong students. She believes that Hmong language reclamation, student-centered learning and student mental health are crucial factors in addressing the gap. Her passion for helping Hmong youth led her to form the nonprofit MN Zej Zog and the National Hmong Language Coalition, a coalition that has 60+ Hmong language teachers working in a multi-state collective to preserve the language through mentorship and collaboration. Now she wants to develop innovative ways to connect more Hmong students to their language and culture and work to give Hmong language teachers the tools they need to be successful. To lead this change, she will improve her Hmong fluency, form broader networks and grow her financial and organizational leadership skills. She also will travel to Southeast Asia to acquire knowledge and stories of the Hmong people.