Kaying Yang

Kaying Yang – Miss March 2009

Nationality: Hmong
Birth Place: Twin Cities, MN
Current Residence: Twin Cities, MN

Model Me Mary has produced many beautiful models since its inception. One of those models is the very stunning Kaying Yang. She’s used to walking the runway, but now Kaying can add Hmoodle Girl to her resume.

Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this eighteen year old beauty attends St. Catherine’s college in Saint Paul. She is attempting a double major in social work, as well as education. Not only does she want to double major, but she’d like to minor in photography. Obviously, she’s a very ambitious and hard working.

I recently caught up with Kaying and she was gracious enough to take part in an interview. This is the outcome of that interview.

Ryan: I’m here with the very lovely Kaying Yang, the Hmoodle Girl for the Month of March. Thank you for being a part of Hmoodle. How are things going for you?

Kaying: Thanks for having me as a part of Hmoodle. It is quite an experience to be featured for the month of March. I am doing great, quite busy with work and school, but that’s life. Got to keep working to get what you want and need.

Ryan: For those who don’t know you, why don’t you give us some background information about you?

Kaying: This is always interesting. I was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and lived there for 12 years. Most of my childhood took place there. I lived in the Amish County, so I know how to sew and quilt, but I never rode in a buggy before (laughs) or a horse or pony. I would love to though!

Ryan: In your bio, you talk about being an aspiring model. What experiences have you had so far and why do you want to do it?

Kaying: My first encounter was with my Aunt’s camera. We were living with them in Burnsville during the summer and my sister was clicking pictures of me. My Auntie saw them and started talking about them. I was kind of embarrassed, because she was telling my mom about how nice my pictures were turning out, just outside her front yard. She told me to pursue modeling. After a year or so in 2008, Mary Ly sent me a message about her modeling classes she was promoting. So I joined the class (Model Me Mary – 3M) and that’s when modeling started for me. I just want to thank Mary for the support she has given me, as well to the Hmong community. From time to time, I do shoots with other photographers, but I’ve been so busy with school and work that I’ve been putting it aside. I just want to thank the photographers waiting patiently for me to get back at them about photo shoots. What makes me want to model? Actually, I didn’t think it would work for me, because I felt that I wasn’t tall enough, or had the face for it. At first my mom was skeptical about it, but now she supports me in it. She even went with me to my first agency interview. I am so happy and excited about modeling.

Ryan: Have you enjoyed your experiences so far?

Kaying: Oh yes, I have enjoyed the experiences. I’m very photogenic and love standing in front of the camera. Even before the shoot, I have to practice on how to pose before getting in front of the camera. That’s just something you have to work at. Posing can be difficult. I hate questioning myself which side of my face looks good or not when I’m shooting, so it’s better to know beforehand.

Ryan: I also see that you’re a piano player. I wish that was a talent that I had. How long have you been playing?

Kaying: Well, I love playing the piano and I am a rusty player. I can read notes, but not that talented in it. I was taking private lessons for two years as a kid, but I moved to Minnesota and stopped. I do want to go back to “master” it (laughs). It’s going to take a while for that to happen again. It’s on my goal list.

Ryan: What are some of your favorite songs to play?

Kaying: I can’t play through the whole songs, but I like playing “The Voice Within” by Christina Aguilera. I just love that song. It’s a powerful song to girls and women, even men can relate to it too. I love making up piano songs and writing lyrics to it, although it may not be the best.

Ryan: Right now you’re a freshman at St. Catherine and going for a double major in Social Work & Education. Obviously those are careers where you help people. Explain those choices.

Kaying: At first, I didn’t want to be a teacher because of all the children I will have to deal with (laughs), but I realized that it’s something that I enjoy doing. Maybe it’s a psychological thing where I feel like I don’t want to, but have to. I love teaching and learning. I like to say that, “to continue learning is to teach what was taught.” Right now, I am just doing a slideshow to teach my two year old brother to read or to recognize words; it’s cute because he has. It’s a side project for me right now. For Social Work, I like working with individuals and understand their situations and help them to the best of their ability. I do want to work in a school environment, because it’s awesome seeing these kids growing up to be the future, you know.

Ryan: How have you made the adjustment for high school to college?

Kaying: Oh wow. My first semester was a mess, because I had all this time to do everything I wanted but all the time I had was suppose to be spent on studying. I had to learn how to manage time and write down all my homework I had to do in three different places, so I can remember. Like in front of my notebooks, on note pads by my desk and in front of the book I am supposed to read. It was hectic, but hey, I made through my first semester. It is very different from high school, because there is all this reading you have to do and in high school, there wasn’t time to read 100 pages in two days, but college, there is because you have all this time to yourself. Writing isn’t a big deal for me, because to my advantage, I love to write. My biggest paper was probably just 10 pages. The MLA and APA format is the difficult part of a research paper.

Ryan: You’re one of five children and you talked about how watching your Mom, a single mom, stress to keep up with her five children is tough to watch. She sound’s like a very strong person. Do you feed off that?

Kaying: I love my mom so much. I am so thankful to have someone like her to think of her children before herself. Oh my Gosh, I can almost cry just talking about her. She is a strong person to still stand on her two feet and have a roof over me and my siblings’ heads and provide food for us. She has the will to work hard and she always tell me to get my degree so I won’t have to work as hard as she has. She is very passionate about school and she does want to go back when my baby brother gets older. That’s what I inherit from her, her determination in life.

Ryan: What have you learned the most from her?

Kaying: That when no one is there for you, your mom will be there. If you and your mom don’t get along now, down the road you two will be like best friends.

Ryan: Do you think that’s why you are pursuing careers in Social Work & Education?

Kaying: Yes. My mom loves working with children and sees that I am really good with them and that they like me. She tells me to do something that I am passionate about, because that’s all that counts. I don’t want a job that I have to work.

Ryan: Spring and summer are just around the corner, what are you looking forward to the most?

Kaying: No more snow (laughs), to wear Capri’s and shorts and of course, flip flops. I can’t wait to go shopping for spring and summer and to feel the warm breeze instead of the cold chills. Also, so I won’t have to scrape the ice off my car (laughs). Winter isn’t that bad, it’s just too cold. My first year of college will be done, that will be exciting.

Ryan: Well Kaying, I know you’re a busy woman, so I will let you get on with your day. Thank you once again for being a Hmoodle Girl. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

Kaying: Well… I want to thank everyone for taking your time reading my interview with Ryan, from Hmoodle, and taking a look at the pictures I took with Jabb. Words of encouragement: “Never give up at what you’re doing, even if others tell you that you wouldn’t make it. Take the words they say and prove them wrong, you are more than what they say. No one can stop you, but you, from achieving your dreams.” I just want to give a shout out to my family and friends and teachers, also networking friends-you guys are still considered friends. Thanks Hmoodle again for having me here as the March Girl. This has been a blast.

It’s pretty clear by her own words that Kaying is going to achieve anything and everything she wants in life. Her determination and will cannot be deterred. Obviously her mother did do a great job raising her and providing her with a positive role model.

Thank you Kaying for being the Hmoodle Girl for the month of March. We wish you the best of luck with school and in life. I have a pretty good feeling that you will be very successful in whatever you choose to do.

If you are interested in being a Hmoodle girl or have questions or comments about this article, you can reach me at ryanm@hmoodle.com

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