Meet the 2011 Awardees
Fresno State University
When Andre Yang’s parents arrived in the United States as refugees in 1979, poverty and their lack of job skills kept him and his six siblings in economically depressed southeast Fresno. But difficult circumstances did not limit the family’s support and guidance for Andre. Although his first language was Hmong, he persevered through low scores on standardized tests until he became proficient enough in English to be the first in his family to go to college.
In 2005, Andre graduated magna cum laude from CSU Fresno with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. He now is a graduate student in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and serves as graduate/editorial assistant for the university’s internationally distributed literary magazine, The Normal School.
As an aspiring author and poet, Andre cofounded the Hmong American Writers Circle. The grassroots group conducts weekly public creative writing workshops, organizes literary readings and strives to build a Hmong literary culture. Andre plans to pursue a career as a university professor.