PaYeng Yang’s father motivated her to go after her degree

“My dad is my big motivator. He didn’t get his college degree until I was a junior in high school. His late- night studies and his dedication to school in general really opened my eyes,” says PaYeng Yang, an electrical engineering technology major expecting to graduate in fall 2020.

“I knew that no matter what happened — even if I started my family early — I needed to get my college degree because if my dad did it with seven of us, then I could do it with one (child).”

Yang’s journey to her degree has not been a straight line. It may have been halted if not for the scholarship help she received.

The married mom of two and big sister to eight siblings, Yang has a lot of younger people watching her. Three of her younger siblings have followed her path to college, taking full advantage of grants and scholarships along the way.

She’s keenly aware of the significance of being a female in a male dominated field.

“Being part of a movement and change for women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), I’m worried about if I’m going to be taken serious,” says Yang. “Going into a field that’s male dominated, I do know that I have to prove myself. During my summer internship, I felt it. I really had to gain trust from my boss.”

Support from UW-Green Bay faculty, and the motivational boost from a scholarship, have given her dreams wings.

“I remember feeling really relieved after getting that scholarship and I want to give that same feeling of alleviation to a student as well. The scholarship donor has inspired me to want to, one day, contribute to my community and give back to UW-Green Bay.”

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