Samantha Vang

MN State Representative

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HOW DID YOU CHOOSE A PATHWAY IN PUBLIC SERVICE?

I chose my path of public service because I simply wanted to help my community. Once I opened my eyes to how our society is often defined by the privileges and failures given to certain people, I saw how others have benefitted from that privilege to how our system has failed for others. I wanted to be part of the process of building a system that works for everyone regardless of who they are. I felt the system failed for our community. Through that failure, I had every reason to not being supposed to run for office. I’m a young recent grad battling student loan debt with a low income job. I grew up as a daughter of refugees relying on charitable and second-hand donations for basic essentials. Yet, I ran for office because I felt policies were not made from the ground up. Many issues I continue to see in the last decade continue to place undue burdens on communities who are the least represented. Out of frustration with the status quo, I decided to run.

WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?

My parents. They arrived from Thai refugee camps to snowy Minnesota with nothing, but their clothes on their back. There were many struggles they continued to face, but they placed their hopes and dreams onto me and my siblings. They taught me that in the face of adversity, be resilient and be bold to look beyond the horizon.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AAPI GIRLS AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE?

Don’t doubt yourself in wherever that you may go. No matter where you are, hold the door so others may walk through.