At Wallin Education Partners, our efforts are singularly focused on scholar success. This is why it is such a thrill when we hear from former scholars. Last week, Brian Xiong, a 2001 scholar contacted us.

Brian reached out to let us know that he received his PhD in Education this month. He was the first Hmong doctoral student to graduate from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Brian was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, and came to the U.S. with his family when he was 10.  He did not speak English and worked hard to catch up to his peers in school. During his senior year at Edison High School in Minneapolis, Brian’s younger sister passed away. This inspired him to appreciate every single moment of his life and motivated him to pursue college. The financial aid component of our program made it possible to attend college, but just as important was the counseling he received from Mrs. Janet Benson, his Wallin Education Partners advisor.

‘I always think about how my advisor encouraged me and pushed me to succeed. She would tell me to never give up on my dreams. And I didn’t. The road was hard at times, but at the end of the road, there is reward, which for me is knowledge and ability to do what I love.’  Brian Xiong, PhD.
Since Brian’s parents are no longer living, he made every effort to make sure that his Wallin Education Partners advisor was at his PhD ceremony, including driving her to the event!

Congratulations Dr. Xiong!