The Stanford Hmong Outreach Program, Promoting Education (SHOPPE) is geared towards Hmong high school juniors and sophomores interested in pursuing avenues of higher education at institutions such as Stanford University. It is a 3 day, 2 night experience with currently enrolled Hmong Undergraduates at Stanford. Activities include a campus tour, a lecture with a Stanford professor, workshops by Stanford Admissions and HSU core members, leadership development, identity exploration and historical overview activities about Hmong and Hmong American identities. See what the SHOPPE Class of 2009 had to say below!

SHOPPE 2010 is scheduled for the first weekend in April 2010. Go here to our website to download an application. For more information, email Lilian, SHOPPE 2010 Coordinator at


The First SHOPPE Class, 2009.


6 Comments to “SHOPPE”


    And that’s HOLA not HOLLA. 🙂 Well what can i say? I LOVED SHOPPE. it was such an amazing experience for me. I attended this program without knowing ANYONE else who was going, which was kind of intimidating for me. Being thrown into a totally different world, not knowing anyone, and having to start over at, “Hi, my name is Lee Lo,” and anticipating cliques that would be hard to break into, I was way nervous. And so, I told myself, “GET OVER IT,” aaaannnddd, i did, well for the most part. It was so easy to be friends with everybody because everyone there is so willing to make new friends. Even when a lot of the other participants had other people they knew and i was the only PACER (grant), it was fine.

    I swear, we played SSSOOO Many different games with each other to kill time. There was the STORY GAME, the NONSTOP QUESTION GAME, VOLLEYBALL, “Honey, i love you,” the “Easter Themed” one and etc. With so many games, its HARD not to interact with others, even IF you wanted to be anti-social. ahah. JK JK, or AAAMMM I? 🙂

    When i applied, i had NO intentions of ever applying to stanford. i felt that it was way out of my league and wasnt willing to even try. i applied to shoppe just to give it a try, to finally go to stanford, and meet new people. I usually attend outreach programs because i know that it’d be beneficial because of the experience and this just seemed like any other outreach program. but i MUST say, that this was BEYOND the regular outreach program. This program inspired me and showed me that i am very capable of many great things.

    Bottom line: Anyone who is even the slightest interested, APPLY. 😀

  2. I guess I had a lot to say…I didn’t think I’d end up writing a whole essay.

    To: SHOPPE students: you are so lucky. Don’t have too much expectations or else it’ll destroy your anticipation. Enjoy SHOPPE and care about your education.

    To: Stanford students: Good luck w/ the conference. I’m involved w/ Fresno State’s Education Conference, so if you guys need any ideas, you can always contact me.

    Darla’s disorganized refection on SHOPPE experience:

    Lets just say I had the best experience at Stanford. I really believe that it could have been better, but I enjoyed my experience there. The first thing my cousin, Evan and I did when were at Stanford was—we went outside and rolled on the grass—which is totally fruity, but it was the best grass I’ve ever rolled on; Stanford grass.

    BTW: My name is Darla and I’m a first year college student right now.

    I was actually a senior in high school when I attended Stanford’s education conference. When I found out that I’d meet people from Sacrament too, I thought they were going to be so uncool and weird, but they actually turned out to be so adorable. Or maybe it’s just because I was the oldest high school student there.

    My experience at SHOPPE was a nice experience; however, how you judge an experience is how well you lived in that moment.

    First off, Stanford is one of the moist gorgeous campuses in California—so it’s already a privilege to go there or at least be there for a second. It also has the best weather. If you do plan to go to SHOPPE, please do not say things like “I miss my family, or my bf/gf,” because you’ll eventually see them again. It’s just 3 days and 2 nights. That’s really no big deal.

    I don’t think Hmong kids realize this, but Hmong college students are the shit. We work our butts off for high school students to receive the benefit of no doubt at all. These conferences are priceless—so these kids have everything to gain from it. Don’t be afraid of applying to Stanford. Just because it’s a prestigious school—that shouldn’t stop anyone from apply to SHOPPE and especially Stanford for admission. I really think that the people who go to SHOPPE this next year will have so much fun. And they’re so lucky because they get to meet twice the amount of Stanford students I met when I attended the conference. Okay—they’re not that great, but I can infer that I think they’re first rate college students because they have the balls to school there and stay there. Okay, so Lillian, Mala, and the rest of the girls probably don’t have balls, but every college student has something good to say. I don’t go to Stanford, but I think I have a few nice things to say.

    When I realized that I was going to go to Fresno State, I was afraid of not being able to make any awesome friends because I didn’t live away from home—cause I feel like it’s when we’re away from home that we really start to get rid of our introvert attitudes and share this rad personality that we’ve never known of. And so knowing that I’d be at Fresno State, I had this fear of not being able to meet great people at Fresno State. Thus I tried to pamper my feelings by saying “It’s okay, Darla, you’ll be really cool people in college, even if it’s Fresno State.” And that’s exactly what happened. I met a few people that are really cool, but not everyone is that great—I ended up being one my own cool people I met in college. That’s so sad. It makes me die a little.

    Anyway—that’s not the point. If you do get accepted into SHOPPE, the moment we all started to get to know each other better, we had to say goodbye to each other. It’s really nostalgic. And the best part about that was that we were from different places, so we could network. The person I really keep in contact is Yee and recently, I just entered a Ninja Assassin Sweepstakes because she informed me about it. I didn’t win anything, but it was fun. The point of conferences is that we have the same goal to pursue higher education, so make connections now—because the people you meet now (who have the same ambition to pursue higher education and success) may actually become something in life.

    I ended up buying a book from the bookstore and made everyone sign it. By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept, by Paulo Coleho. I love that guy just because of the Alchemist. And my cousin bought Life of Pi cause Henry (one of Stanford students who facilitated a workshop) said that that was his favorite book. Evan and I exchanged books to read, and we both haven’t returned it to each other yet. I don’t know why he’s not done—my book is a quick read, but gosh—Life of Pi is really slow and boring so I haven’t gotten around to try to finish it yet. (makes me wonder why Henry likes it so much). What’s cool about my book was that I bought it at Stanford and I asked everyone to sign it—so I’ll never forget everyone I met at Stanford. It makes me smile. I thought of such a cool idea—of course that’s because I’m so cool.

    Any who…Stanford is a really great place; they have a mall and an museum and a real strip of Fraternity and Sorority houses (I can’t believe those exactly exists!!). I wish I could’ve been there longer, but in respect of everyone else’s interest to keep exploring quicker, we just went in and out of it quickly. I actually got to see the Gates of Hell—which was so legit. I’ve only seen it in anime like Full Metal Alchemist, but when I saw it in reality, I couldn’t believe it. I forget that I can actually tell people that I’ve literally seen the Gates of Hell.

    Stanford is so gorgeous. Did I already say that? I like Stanford so much—it scares me how much I like it. What scared me even more was how understanding every Stanford student was. When Mai Yer’s sister came, she seemed so excited that her sister was there—and I totally understand that feeling. Seeing my sister makes me really happy too. What the heck…that had nothing to do with an understanding Stanford student. I guess I’m the understanding student. LOL. But I think you can really ask them anything about school and even things not about school and just life in general and they think really critically and rationally about it before they speak it. They respond so logically to your questions, it makes you feel human again. Actually, all college students are like that—you just have to be with them at the right time in the right discourse to experience something like that.
    Also: Stanford is a real school. Stanford students are real. You can ask them real questions. They’ll give you a real response, and guess what? You’re real too—so you’re pretty much experience the real deal. When I went to college, I created a philosophy that it takes a college student to understand another college student. That probably doesn’t help at all, but while you’re at Stanford, I advise you to take notes while you’re at SHOPPE. You’ll be surprised at what you write. (Have you ever liked yourself so much for writing something that became useful to you later?)

    At SHOPPE, we also went to lectures and it felt like a lecture at Fresno State, except the teaching philosophy is different. It really is true that at progressive schools like Stanford, give you more opportunities to acquire knowledge better. I’m not saying that those harder schools are any better, because you can learn at any school. (Don’t we find smarties at community colleges too?) It just depends on your confidence to learn.

    We also did a lot of workshops that made me think. Dr. Kou Yang from Stanislaus State wrote in one of his articles that “we are a product of the past. [so] know your history.” That’s an absolutely valid statement, which reminds me of how Vang may have said something like “You gotta know your history, before you can say who you are.” Defining myself had never been so difficult for me, so at the time, so at the time, I really felt like I was in the deepest shit because I was already bound to go to college. How can I go to college not knowing who I was? Defining is a long process and I do it every day.

    I’m really thankful for my experience at Stanford, though. I’m thankful that I met all the 8 Stanford students at the very first SHOPPE. I’m thankful that I met Yuki Kondo Shah. I’m thankful that I met all the girls from Sacramento. I’m thankful for all the girls I met from Fresno. I’m thankful Evan came along. I’m thankful I enjoyed my time at SHOPPE. I’ve written this many times in my composition book they provided for us—but going to Stanford made me feel less ignorant about many things. I learned that not being biased can screw you over sometimes—but that doesn’t matter now.
    And ultimately—I have a confession. I have the most pathetic reason to go to SHOPPE. I failed to complete my application to Stanford for college admission, so I actually chose to apply to SHOPPE for redemption. I doubt that I would’ve been accepted, but I should’ve at least completed it. But I fully appreciate my experience at Stanford. I encourage Hmong students in high school to keep working hard and pursue higher education (and please do it for yourself); and I endeavor the greatest achievement for Hmong students who want to achieve individual success as much as I do.


    Darla Vang

  3. HMONG POSE!!!

  4. Hey! It’s Jennifer!(more known as Pho) Well, the experience provided by SHOPPE was splendid and very helpful. I am extremely glad that I was able to visit the art museum (who knew I would be needing to write a report on it this school year). For anyone interested in this special event, I highly suggest you take advantage of this grand opportunity to explore and have fun. I assure you the car rides were not totally tiring and the drivers were not so…scary.

  5. Heyyyy!!!!

    Wow! What can I say? This program is awesome (hands down!)\! You get to know so much in just 3 days! The workshops were awesome and informative~ For those interested, please please pleaseeeee, I highly recommend you to sign up for this!!!! You get to meet such cool students from all over! They might even become your lifelong friend! I know I still keep in touch with the students I met there 🙂 (All thanks to Stanford’s HSU members for putting on this wonderful event!)

    The food was awesome! *winkwink*

    You’ll have plenty and plenty of time to play games! ekke; I know we played loads and loads of games together! It’s an awesome experience! :))))

    The application might seem long and difficult, but trust me! It’s totally worth it!!! ^__^ Plus, Stanford might be one of your choices to apply to after this event! (I applied and I’m just waiting for a reply back now! ^__^)

    But really! APPLY!!!! NOW!!!
    It’s definitely something you CANNOT miss out on!

    Fighting! ^_^

  6. I am forever thankful for SHOPPE. It opened up the doors to so many things, inspiring me to be more active and involve in my community.I got the chance to meet new people and experience one heck of an experience. lol. It gives me hope, knowing that if Lilian, Vang, Adam, Adeva, and so many of you guys can make it that far, then maybe i can too one day 🙂

    -xoxoxo d. chang

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