Metropolitan State University and Travelers – PaYong

– My name is PaYong, and I currently work as a Trio advisor at
Metropolitan State University. (knocks on door) (indistinct talking) The students we serve are students who are first-generation college students, students who have low income, or students with disabilities. We help students remain in college and help them with support services so that they can obtain
that four year degree. As a Trio advisor, I really appreciate the Edge Program and the Pathways Program, knowing that these resources
exist for our students, because it really helped
them become a professional. (dramatic piano music) Well, I, myself, is a
first-generation, low income student. My family fled from Laos and
Thailand with the Vietnam War, so we came here when I was like a baby. Growing up, I was the
oldest of seven kids, so I had a lot of responsibility. Then, I decided that I
want to get out there. I want to be more involved because I also crave that. I crave the social engagement. I crave learning new skills. I wanna learn new things. (dramatic piano music) I was selected as the
EDGE Scholar in 2009. Through the EDGE Scholar Program, I had the financial resource
to help me pay for college. And, my EDGE experience
was very valuable to me. Through EDGE, I was able to develop a meaningful mentoring relationship. It was a really eye-opening
experience for me because it allows me to see, “hey, I don’t have to work
jobs like my mom and dad,” assembly lines and
things like that because now I can see a different dream or job that I can actually do. (dramatic piano music) These partnerships are critical because when a student becomes successful, they become a person who can
go out into the community, who can give back to the community, who works in the community, who brings the community up. The EDGE Program, their
contribution and their dedication to my growth, was really meaningful to me. And, it was very valuable
and I really appreciate it. And, now I wanna give back to people. You’re taking eight credits? I feel really lucky to be serving students who are like me, who are in my shoes. I like helping people. I like talking about their dreams and what they wanna do
and what they wanna learn. I want the students to
start thinking about where they wanna intern or
start looking at positions, so that when they graduate
with that four year degree, they’re ready.

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