The VJS team attended a socially distanced construction progress celebration at the Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA) on Thursday, October 1. Founder and executive director of HAPA Chris Her-Xiong, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd, Milwaukee Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump, city of Milwaukee Housing Authority Executive Director Tony Pérez, HAPA board members, and representatives from Continuum Architects were also in attendance.
“Today is about more than a building,” Her-Xiong said. “Rather, it is about the promise we are making to our scholars, their families, and our broader community that a high quality education – especially one filled with abundant love, joyfulness, and high expectations – can transform lives and lead the way out of poverty and into a prosperous life of service. By taking the courageous step forward to build a high school designed to best support our scholars academic and extracurricular pursuits, we are underscoring our ambition to become one of the very best schools in Wisconsin.”
VJS is thrilled to be partnering with HAPA to make this vision a reality. The new 99,000 square-foot high school building is scheduled to open in August 2021. The building will include 38 classrooms, a 16,000-square-foot gymnasium, a multipurpose resource center with a student-run café, a museum dedicated to Hmong history and culture, and dedicated college and career resource centers, administrative offices and professional development facilities for teachers and staff. This space will allow HAPA to continue to expand its services and continue to provide state-of-the-art education the Hmong community.
To learn more about HAPA and how to support their mission in encouraging their students to become global citizens, peacebuilders, and leaders, please check out their website.