Angela Yang, the TRIO student support services advisor and SUCCEED coordinator, is being honored with the 2021 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Outstanding Woman of Color Award. The award recognizes women of color on campus who have shown passion for their work, outstanding university and community service, and dedication to creating an inclusive and respectful environment. Yang is a 2017 alumna of UW-Platteville and describes this achievement as coming full circle.
“It’s been almost eight years that I’ve been a part of the UW-Platteville community as a student and staff member. It’s a real honorary award to receive,” she said. “It means I have impacted individuals in different ways for them to feel I am deserving of this award.”
When working with current Pioneers, Yang reflects back on her own undergraduate journey as a first-generation college student who also participated in TRIO, SUCCEED and OMSA. Yang hopes by sharing her own experiences it makes her relatable to her students.
“I participated in SUCCEED in 2012. I’m passionate about the program because of how it influenced me to be the person I am today. It provided me opportunities,” she said. “I could always count on the programs as a student, especially as a student of color, as a Hmong woman and as a first-generation student from a low-income background. It was my second home.”
Yang wants students to know, as they embark on their educational path, that they are never alone. She acknowledges how student services programs are on campus to provide support and resources.
“We are very intentional about the work we do,” said Yang. “Every staff, faculty and student who is a part of TRIO and SUCCEED has a passion for helping individuals, whether it be in their personal or academic careers. They say it takes a village to raise a child, in TRIO we are intentional about serving our students as a community. We are here to support each other as a family. We are bound on building on connection and community. A community that makes students feel comfortable, safe, welcoming and accepting to everyone and anyone.”
As Yang continues to motivate and build strong relationships with her students, she wants to remind everyone you never know who you are influencing. She notes the smallest gesture can make the biggest difference in someone’s day.
“It’s the little things that matter,” said Yang. “I want to tell students, especially young women of color, you are worth everything. You are leaders and you don’t need others for validation. I want young women of color to empower each other in our achievements. I want them to know, I didn’t know I was going to receive this recognition, but I’m grateful for being nominated. Recognition will come when the time is right. We also don’t always need the recognition because we have already impacted different people throughout our lives, whether we know it or not.”