Self and Family 💕

Emily Thao (she/her)
HAPA 22′🕊️🎓 | Forever Forward

Family oriented, motivated student, mathematics and nature lover.

Hi, my name is Emily!
Welcome to my page. 😊

Feel free to check out my links below and send an email for professional inquiries.

–  Born and raised in Milwaukee
–  Grew up in the Northern side of Milwaukee
–  Currently attending Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA)
–  I am currently a 16 year old Hmong woman
–  Lived in the same house my whole life

My favorite color is red, specifically maroon and burgundy, but I also like pastel colors. Red can be vibrant and noticeable, additionally, it offers a calming aura. I feel as if red matches my personality the most.

No favorite food but I especially enjoy laab & spring rolls. Laab is a Thai/Laotian/Hmong dish that consists of beef or chicken and greens such as green onions and cilantro. Additionally, I enjoy spring rolls with cilantro, carrots, noodles, pork, etc.

18th Birthday Countdown! 🥳

Before & After Photos 📸

I am the second youngest in my family, I have 6 older siblings and 1 younger sibling. With 7 siblings total, I have two sisters and 5 brothers. The house is not too crowded but my family and I make the best of the space when it gets tight.

Career Pathway 👨‍💻

The career path I am aiming for is a software developer/engineer, however, I strongly feel that I may go undecided when choosing a major. I definitely want to go into the technology/business route because it requires math (which is my favorite subject).

Although mathematics can be stressful, it is something I find to be very satisfying, which makes me feel content. Most, if not all, careers require some sort of math knowledge, but I personally would like to explore the concepts of math and gain a thorough education on it.

Currently I have no preference in colleges, but I would like to go to a college in the state (but still a bit far from home). I am looking at UW-Stevens Point, UW-Madison, and MATC, however, I am open to any option outside of the state.

 I feel more comfortable with home life, though I am enjoying dorm life with UB. Although dorms are expensive, I know that they offer several benefits and are sometimes required depending on the college. I would most likely commit to dorm life in my first few years of college.

  • Software engineer/developer
  • Graphic designer
  • Mathematician
  • Chief financial owner (CFO)
  • Accountant

The subject I enjoy most is mathematics, especially algebra and precalculus. Algebraic concepts are easy to grasp and fun to do mentally. On the other hand, precalculus concepts are challenging but they are satisfying to learn and work with. Math in general is very entertaining as solving problems makes me feel accomplished.

My favorite thing about my school are the students and teachers. The teachers are very kind and open to ideas that we have. They teach well and always think of the students before actual school work. Despite the cons, my school wouldn’t function without the students and teachers (obviously). The students are welcoming, making the school feel like a family.

A good teacher is someone who assigns necessary work, makes mental health a priority, and offers assistance to students during and after school. They also should teach well and display their passion in the subject they teach. My favorite teacher is my math teacher. He talks to us on an equal level and assists us when necessary. In addition, he tells us what we should and shouldn’t learn and provides us with advanced studying habits. Thanks to him, I was able to enjoy math at a quick pace.

  • Going to Washington DC

  • Homecoming 2019

Most likely not, I don’t think a school setting suits the person I am. Plus, I know my school lacks a lot of things that other schools may have (e.g. advanced classes, homework load, etc.). I feel as if I should branch out into other communities instead of staying on my own (since my school mostly consists of Hmong people). Also, I don’t think I could work with students.

Senior Year <3

How’s everyone doing? I doubt anyone has checked their websites since the Summer of 21′, but I hope everyone is doing well! 🙂 Senior year has been going well; I hope you all are getting into the colleges you wanted to get into. <3

*Don’t forget to apply for scholarships and your institutions need based financial aid!

[added 1.20.2022 & updated 2.9.2022]

Speaker Takeaways 🎤

Efueko and Kendra


dōTERRA Essential Oils

Efueko and Kendra educated us on essential oils and the process of getting through college. Additionally, they gave us insight on being a “basketball wife”. Their anecdotes were informative and intriguing, educating us on life and individuality. A personal takeaway was that the direction you desire may not be the one that makes you feel truly content. Kendra’s example, which helped us understand the lesson more, was that she wanted to be a meteorologist. Despite achieving that life-long goal, she didn’t feel 100% with herself and wanted to do more in life. Not only does this inspire me to seek out what I truly want in life, but it informs me that whatever direction I start with will benefit me in some way, shape, or form.

Ryan Rogers


Moralistic and ethical comeback

A memorable topic of conversation that Ryan described to us was maintaining moralistic and ethical boundaries in business. He gave us a situation where he had to indirectly decline a request because he felt that it was out of his morals and ethics. More specifically, he did not want his children to be surrounded by inappropriate themes. This experience shows me that establishing boundaries prior to proceeding with business is important when maintaining mental health (especially as a business owner). In regards to Ryan’s business, I find his pathway to it interesting. Nearly a college failure, he brought himself back up and succeeded in the business area, a hard field to find success in. Additionally his passion for web and graphic design was amazing as I connect with his passions myself.

Marcus Landry


Familial and religious individual, ambitious farmer

Marcus described his life story as a basketball player travelling around the world and partaking in the NBA. He also told us his reasons as to why he pursued farming instead of continuing with basketball. As an educator and family man, Marcus wanted to inform children what goes into their food. Additionally, he wanted to learn what he should eat to stay fit and healthy. A major takeaway from his presentation was the fact that he made a large change in his life (from a basketball player to a farmer) because he knew that was what he truly sought after in life. This is inspiring as I understand that I am only at the beginning of my journey.

Uriah Francassi


Inspiring, collected, professional

Uriah’s presentation was not only informative but also interactive. His triangle activity (a.k.a “Me, My Audience, and Shared Win” activity) was helpful with discovering myself, my identity, and what I defined as “success” in life. Although I was passionate in my goals already, he helped me (including my classmates) with understanding how everything (e.g. aspirations, goals, audience) connected. One massive take away was that when you help others, more profit comes back to you than when you only help yourself. In life, the value of making connections and building relationships can never be taken away. Thus, relationships are the foundation of survival and development. There were other notes such as “WIIFM” meaning, what’s in it for me? Although selfish, everyone has that mindset because in some way, everything benefits us. This phrase teaches me how to be humble and not take things for granted.

Elijah Driver


Passionate, hilarious, relatable

Elijah’s ability to relate and display his personality made us feel a personal connection with him. He was extremely kind and quirky, which allowed us to open up and learn about his professional and personal life. One major takeaway from him as a person, not necessarily his presentation, was the fact that he ensures his decisions are entirely his own. Ms. Sheena mentioned this, describing his decision of going to college or not. Despite being pressured from his loved ones, he hasn’t gone to college yet and wants to do his own things. This is special as his decisions are made on his own accord. I aspire this mindset as making sure I am 100% with a decision can be iffy.

Hobbies and Talents ✨

What hobbies/talents do you have? Name 2 or 3 and describe what they are and why you enjoy them.

  • Art: sketching, painting, inking, graphic design — expression of creativity and stress reliever 🖌️
  • Cooking — when cooking alone, it is calming and eases my nerves 🍳

How long have you been doing/having this hobby/talent? And, do you expect to keep this hobby/talent for life?

  • Art: for my whole life — I will definitely keep it for life! ♾️
  • Cooking: since the beginning of quarantine — yesss! Everyone should learn the basics of cooking 🍽️

What would you be interested in learning or doing as a hobby/talent in the future and why?

Art 100% yes! I would love to pursue it as it is one of my passions and is very important to me. 💕 However, I don’t think I will fully pursue it as it is not the most sustainable career choice. Instead, I will aim for graphic/web designing alongside my other career choice of software engineering/developing. 🖥️ I would not pursue cooking because I know I don’t work well under pressure and I feel as if pursuing culinary arts requires a lot of pressure. Also, it is merely an interest, not necessarily a talent. 👨‍🍳 Unfortunately I can’t pursue either hobby to the full potential, but if I could work in the art field, I definitely would.

Artworks 🎨

Some of my favorite artworks!
– Ink drawing of Escanor from the anime, “Seven Deadly Sins”
– Coloring of Violet Evergarden
– Watercolor rendering of a baby cow

Currently I am interning for ArtWorks for Milwaukee’s Environmental Internship. From working on local projects to participating in clean ups, the internship has given me freedom to express my ideals and gain leadership skills.

Feel free to attend our unveiling at Green Tech Station on August 19th!

Beulah Land Experience 🐮

From feeding the lovely cows to catching chickens mid-air, my experience at Beulah was amazing. Despite the weather being gloomy at first, ☁️ the scenery was gorgeous. ☀️ We were able to understand how animals were tamed as well as how certain types of vegetables were grown in a small space. 🌱 I can’t say when my favorite moment was because I deeply enjoyed the entire experience. Though, I loved feeding the cows and helping out with the garden! Additionally, I understand that the trip was disorganized and somewhat improvised. However, it makes sense understanding the conditions Efueko and Marcus were in. I appreciate their willingness to work around our schedule and provide us with an unforgettable experience (thank you!). 💛

We had the opportunity to talk to middle-schoolers during the trip as well! It was unfortunate hearing their circumstances and backgrounds, however, I am proud of them for remaining strong and connecting with us in many ways (even if these connections were minor). They were a funny group of kids and they were outgoing for their age. I see talent and strength in each and every one of them. 💚 For an activity, Marcus paired us up with MS scholars he thought would work well together. We were meant to search for a place of inspiration on the farm and show the students. Additionally, we would explain why the spot inspired us. 🤔 Based on what he knew about us, including the students, I was paired with Mariah (I believe) and Precious. We discussed Marquette’s UB/UBMS program benefits and analyzed the garden’s literal and figurative meaning. I mentioned that it symbolized growth, which is an inspiration to me as I want to continue growing throughout life. Overall, the interactions we had with the MS students were worth it. Hopefully I made an impact on their lives, if not, I hope they had a great time at the farm! 🌾

Random Facts 😝

p.s. I’m a sucker for taking photos of the sky.

Favorite activity outside..

Flip me!

..barbecue with my family!

☁️ I enjoy the nice weather outside and hanging out with my loved ones.

Do I have pets?

Flip me!

 I have no pets but I would like a dog!

🚀 Mars: would not live on it but definitely would visit.

Strongest motivation?

Flip me!

My family and myself!

Christmas 🎄

My favorite Christmas gift would be my phone and journal. My phone is important to me because it allows me to connect to my friends and family and feel safe. The first journal I received holds lots of value because it encouraged me to get into journaling and assists me with organizing my responsibilities.

Vaccine Poster 💉

Tribute 💖

Although quite cheesy, I want to give my thanks to all of the friends I’ve made in UB this summer. 🙂

Firstly, thank you Ms. Sheena for providing an amazing class full of random talks (due to menti questions and questions made up on the spot), entertaining ways to learn, and overall a great internship. I’m sure we all had our fun in this class over the past few weeks. <3 I enjoyed the speakers we’ve spoken to and the trip we went on! I appreciate your kindness and sweet personality, your insight and hilarious jokes sincerely made up my mornings.

Secondly, thank you to everyone else (including those out of this class). When a few of you walked out of my room that Sunday *after introductions*, you didn’t understand how happy I was. :*) From playing mafia throughout the first week to throwing pranks on each other on the last one, I relished every single second of my time with everyone here. <3 In addition to all of the fun we’ve had, you’ve all helped me in a significant way. I was able to cope and move on with a toxic past, secure my identity, and gain confidence in my own skin.

Sincere thanks. <3 I’ve never felt such a strong familial bond outside of family and I hope the best for each and every one of you. #4lifers