Campus News

First female Hmong judge shares secrets to success

Yang shared three life lessons that got her through times of struggle to students.

Yang shared three life lessons that got her through times of struggle to students.

Judge Kristy Kashoua Yang, the first female Hmong judge in the nation, spoke Wednesday about how she stays positive in the face of adversity.

Yang is a single mother, lawyer, and Circuit Court Judge in Milwaukee County. In her RedTalk, presented by the Homecoming Committee, she shared the three lessons she found most influential throughout her life. 

To diffuse stress and to stay positive in and out of the courtroom, Yang’s first lesson to students was “to find humor in everything you do.” 

“Humor helps me to be the best for myself, my kids, and you all. It’s the spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down,” she said. 

The second lesson Yang offered students is the idea that “there’s truth and value in being observant.” Throughout the most hectic times in her life, Yang relied on her organization and planning skills. 

“When we observe we can make better decisions, being observant allows you to listen and consider before you can decide or make judgements,” Yang said. 

Her last lessons was to “be prepared, plan as much as you can, but allow room for change.”

Throughout her career, Yang never expected to become a judge, emphasizing the importance of keeping your options open and staying intentional in every aspect of life.

“Taking risks is what life is about, but calculated risks is what success is about,” Yang said. 

As successful as Yang has been in both her career and personal life, she noted the value of taking a step back and enjoying the moments as they come. 

“Whether it was my parents, my kids, my husband or whatever it may be, I always had something to work for and it wasn't for me.” Yang said. “For the first time in my life, I have some breathing room.”

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