“Far away there in the sunshine are my aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they may lead.” –Louisa May Alcott
My name is Tracy Kue. I am a Winning Futures Alumni and scholarship recipient. I graduated from Paul K Cousino High School in 2004. Winning Futures has made a huge impact in my life and continue to do so. My parents are Hmong refugees from Laos. I have 5 brothers and 4 sisters. As a child of Hmong refugees, I did not grow up like most of my peers. My parents did not have much but could always provide the necessity to live. Education was always important to my parents. I grew up with strong values of being a hard worker, to have compassion and respect for others. In 2003, my life changed when I lost my father to a major heart attack. I was 16 years old and never experience losing someone I loved. After losing my father, I fell into a dark place in my life where I felt hopeless and unsure of my future. In 2004, I participated in Winning Futures and the program helped to restore my strength and also encouraged me to continue with my education. Winning Futures reinforce the values my parent’s instilled and provided a solid foundation to make good life decisions. There are three things I learned from Winning Futures. The first thing is to focus on my weaknesses and work on making them strengths. The second thing is to be goal-oriented and set realistic goals. The third thing I learned is that attitude is everything.
In the Fall of 2013, I was able to give back to Winning Futures and be a mentor. It has been one of the greatest and best experiences in my life because I was able to change someone’s life. I was able to communicate the importance of business etiquette, job interview preparedness and networking skills. Winning Futures is a wonderful business-education partnership that inspires and prepares young adults to be self-reliant. Winning Futures has helped me to achieve my dreams and aspirations. Currently, I am employed with the University of Michigan Health Systems as a Patient Financial Counselor, where I help patients understand their medical bills and health insurance benefits. Furthermore, I am in my second term of graduate school at the University of Maryland, obtaining a dual Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and Business. I am successful because of the support from my family and the skills I learned from Winning Futures.