Member Spotlight | Who is Mai Youa Moua?

by Michael Brink
follow me on Twitter: @michaelkbrink

The Vitals: Name, Current City, Age
Mai Youa Moua, Oakdale, MN. 24.

1. Where do you work? What is your role? What's the best part of your job?
Admission Possible as an Americorps member, and also a high school coach at Central High School. I act as a resource for students by guiding and supporting them with college applications, financial aid, and transitioning to college. The best part of my job is the relationships I build with my students, the one-on-one interactions that allow me to best support each of my students.

2. How did you begin working in the nonprofit sector? Was it by choice or did you just "fall into' it?
As an Admission Possible Alumni who went through the program as a high school student, I was grateful for the assistance that the program provided for me. As a result, I chose to give back to my community and to the program. When I decided to serve with Admission Possible, I did not consider the fact that it was a nonprofit organization; I focused more on my passions and goals of the program. 

3. What is the most memorable YNPN event you have attend and why?
The first one that I attended—speed networking event at Mai Village! It was my introduction into the Twin Cities nonprofit community, and the beginning of my official attempt to expand my network. At the event, I met a lot of people who were driven by a passion rather than by money or recognition, and I felt like I fitted in right away.

4. What is your favorite summer activity in the Twin Cities?
With the many months of cold and snow in MN, I take full advantage of the summers and spend most of my time outdoors. I enjoy relaxing in the sun, biking, walking around lakes, and playing with my nieces and nephews at a playground. 

5. What is your most memorable travel experience outside the United States? And why?
The only time I’ve traveled outside of the United States was in China for a semester for study abroad. With three-day weekends for the entire semester, I visited a new city almost every weekend. I traveled the most that I've ever traveled. The most memorable part of that was when I went to Beijing. It was an eight hour trip by bullet train. I had an amazing time. I saw the Great Wall, had some famous Peking Duck and walked through the imperial Summer Palace.

Everything went as planned until I missed my train back to Nanjing and ended up spending 14 hours on an overnight train with no seat/bed. Fortunately, I was able to get a seat in the dinning train but it wasn’t as comfortable as the bed on the bullet train that I would have taken had I not underestimated the size of Beijing.

6. Any advice for fellow young professionals considering a career in the nonprofit sector?
As I see it, the nonprofit world is for people who have strong beliefs in what they do; it requires a certain level of compromise but people who enter it are committed and willing do fight for a cause. My advice is make sure you believe in what you are pursuing in the nonprofit world because that is what keeps you going.

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