Pakou Hang was just days old when she came to the United States in 1976. Her parents were part of the first wave of Hmong refugees to come to the country.
Now, they've lived here far longer than they lived in Laos.
Pakou has become ingrained in community life. She worked on the re-election campaign for the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and she recently ran for St. Paul City Council.
But Pakou wondered about her mom's sense of belonging. While the word "belong" doesn't really translate in Hmong, her mother was still able to explain her feelings about fitting in here in Minnesota.