Skip to main content

Representative Fue Lee: How Afterschool Programming Inspires Youth to Be Leaders

By Kinley Kao Vang, YWCA Minneapolis Beacon Program Manager
Social Share

Representative Fue Lee is an alumna of YWCA Beacon Learning Center at Franklin Middle School. He is now the State Representative for House District 59A in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and a clear example of how afterschool programming inspires youth to become leaders and creators of change.  

Born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Hmong parents from Laos, Lee came to Minneapolis as a toddler in 1992. Lee was part of the YWCA Beacon Learning Center afterschool program during sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

Becoming a Leader

After graduating from high school, Fue Lee earned his bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and was an employee in the office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. He then went on to cofound the Asian-American Organizing Project and Progressive Hmong American Organizers. Elected in 2016 as a State Representative, Lee is the first person of color to represent that district and the fourth Hmong-American elected to a state legislature.

A Spark of Inspiration

Last month, Representative Fue Lee journeyed back to where it all began to visit YWCA Beacon Learning Center at Franklin Middle School and share his story with youth during the summer programming. Rep. Fue Lee wanted all the young people to see themselves in his story and let them know that if he can do it, so can they.

Rep. Fue Lee is a spark of inspiration for young people and has made everyone at YWCA Beacon Learning Center proud!

Learn more about YWCA Beacon Learning Centers

Donate to YWCA Minneapolis