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In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, North Central Missouri College honors student Hailey Lipai. Hailey’s nationality is Pacific Islander-Micronesia, and her hometown is Maysville, MO. Hailey recently completed her freshman year at NCMC and is taking courses to earn her Associate of Arts AA degree. After completing her associate’s degree at NCMC, Hailey plans to transfer and earn her bachelor’s degree in social work or business management.

Hailey said of her heritage: “There are so many things I love about my culture, but what I love the most is how welcoming everyone is to others. When you meeting a pacific islander for the first time he is very quiet but once you get to know each other or be friends we are very social people my family has been my number one support since i was little i grew up as an only child, but when I hung out with my cousins, they were the siblings I never had. One thing I learned as I got older is that I I have a LOT of cousins, including ones I haven’t met yet. I meet new cousins ​​every year, it’s like making new friends, but we’re related.

Hailey went on to say, “My favorite tradition is how we celebrate International Women’s Day. In the islands, everyone comes together on Women’s Day and performs a dance telling the story of women’s role back then, which was being a housewife, until now where women are more independent . It’s the same in the United States, but they travel from all over the country. I hope to visit the island one day and meet my family.

When asked how she shares her culture with others, Hailey replied, “Someone will ask me ‘hey, what’s your ethnicity?’ and I gladly share everything about my heritage. I also hung the flag of Micronesia in my dorm, which gave me plenty of opportunities to explain the national flag and its culture. My friends have learned a lot about my culture and my heritage, which is great. My friends are all supporting me and my ethnicity and they think that’s really cool. Hailey said: “NCMC opened my eyes to the support people can give. People at NCMC are open to other cultures, and that made me feel welcome and at home.

At NCMC, Hailey is involved with Phi Mu, Student Support Services, the First Gen Club and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has lived in residence halls. Hailey chose NCMC because it was the smart financial choice for her and her family, and it wasn’t too far from home. She also wanted more time to decide which career path she wanted to follow by taking her general courses first. Hailey said, “My favorite thing about NCMC is meeting new people. My roommate is actually from Maysville, but we’ve never hung out together, and now we’re such good friends. There are lots of kind and welcoming people, and there’s lots of support to help you succeed.

Hailey’s favorite class is online sociology with instructor Holland. “I enjoyed this class because I learned about different ways people celebrate culture,” Hailey said. “It caught my attention and we did many different missions on culture and society. I was passionate about the subject.”

The month of May celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI). This general term encompasses Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and most of the countries of Asia made up of around 50 ethnic groups, speaking more than 100 languages ​​from at least 40 different countries. Visit the Asia-Pacific Heritage Month website for more information.

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