Jim Lee, 25, always knew he was going to be an entrepreneur. He had the knowledge and the connections he just needed an idea. Then one day, it hit him, and his first business venture began.
Lee had served as a board member for a nonprofit organization, which raised money for Hmong college students. When the organization died down, Lee saw the need to fill the vacancy. He reached out to former teammates and friends and in August 2019, the Our Scholarship team had formed.
Our Scholarship is a nonprofit organization. The team consists of 11 young professionals who all volunteer their time to help achieve the group’s mission: increase access to higher education for members of the Southeast Asian community through scholarship opportunities.
Lee explained that Southeast Asian Americans have some of the highest poverty rates in the country.
AAPI Data publishes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to its website. The group reported that the poverty rate among Southeast Asian Americans is higher than the national average, which ranks at 11.3%. The Hmong poverty rate is 27.4%, the Cambodian rate is 18.2%, the Vietnamese rate is 13% and the Laotian rate is 12.2%.