#iumienwomenmoversandshakers: Famhseng Saephanh

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

In my opinion, the most significant barrier to female leadership is first and foremost being a female. I believe that women decades ago have made huge progress to be considered equal to their counterparts (men). Women today have a lot to be thankful for. Our women history has proved years and years on over how resilient we are when it comes to standing up and speaking up for a cause that is important and crucial for all men and women. Being a female is a role that only a woman will understand. It is without doubt that men have tried to interpret their ideals of what women are capable of, but I believe women have triumphed through the adversities and have proven to be equal to men in most accomplishments that were first only given recognition to men (i.e. weight lifting, politics, athletics, etc.). Women today have fewer barriers to be recognized, nonetheless, the women will way to be a leader.

What is one event that helped shaped your life?

There are several events that have helped shaped my life. But a significant event that helped shaped my life is my parents opening a family business named Sam’s Strawberries in 1995. My parents worked conscientiously for 10 years to make a living for our family of 8 children. Their work ethics, commitment, and passion to never give up and to provide is remarkable. Because of them, I was able to have the same mindset to set goals and achieve them. Because of my parents, I am a well-spoken and giving citizen.

What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make and how did it impact your life?

Now that I am a mother, one of the toughest decisions I had to make was to become a single mother. This is a decision that I know will not only impact my life, but my daughter’s life. To choose to be a single mother is not a choice that everyone is able to make and or willing to make. As a single mother, I understand the responsibilities that come along with it. I know myself that I am a strong, intelligent, and loving woman with a heart of gold. My decision to be a single mother has already made me a better person in many ways and I am blessed to be a mother to my daughter, who I will show and raise to be a phenomenal human being.

What is an accomplishment you are proud of?

An accomplishment that I am very proud of was when I was awarded my Master’s degree in Arts of Teaching with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis, in 2013. As a Mien woman, and a woman that grew up with many adversities (i.e. poverty, English Learner, parents’ lack of education, etc.), I did not think that I would be the few to be recognized as a professional in my field of work as a Behavior Specialist and a Supervisor at that. Because of my accomplishment in education, I am able to give myself the opportunity to work with other professionals and learn from their experiences and gain a wealth of knowledge that is priceless. My second accomplishment was being crowned as Miss Iu Mien 2018. Because of this title and platform that Sacramento Iu Mien Association have created and organized, I am able it utilize it to share my experience as a Iu Mien Woman and let them hear my voice and encourage their own achievements.

If there was a young girl out there who wanted to do what you did, what would you tell her?

If there were a young girl out there with the drive and ambition that I have, I would tell her, “Keep moving forward. No matter how far, how difficult, and how long it may take for your to reach your end goal, it will all be worth it in the end.” This is a positive self-talk that I do for myself to keep me on the right path and for me to not give up, even though many times I feel I would like to. I like to think of life as endless possibilities and we will get out of life the same energy we put in it. We are women, we are strong, and we are caring. No matter what obstacles we may face, we will prevail.

How can people get a hold of you i.e. social media, phone number

I can be reached on Facebook and my email is saephanhk@gmail.com

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