WIPPS congratulates Aerial Thao, recipient of the 2022 Young Adult Civic Engagement Award!
Aerial is a native of Wausau, where she has instructed students in the Wausau School District, women and teenagers at the Women’s Community Center, and members of youth organizations, as well as many others, in the art of self-defense through Rising Son MMA.
She has worked as a Hmong liaison for North Central AHEC where she reached out to various members within the Hmong community as an advocate for vaccinations and health insurance. She also acted as a mentor in the AHmong Us program, which provides enrichment opportunities for high school students in Central Wisconsin who are considering becoming a physician. At the Marathon County Literacy Council she conducted research on health literacy in low-income populations. She has also volunteered with Wausau Alliance Church, Monk Botanical Gardens, and the Wausau Warming Center.
Aerial will complete her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UW Stevens Point, after which she intends to attend medical school.
The Young Adult Civic Engagement Award is presented to a young person who demonstrates leadership abilities including initiative, integrity and service to others. The scholarship is funded by former Wisconsin Congressman David R. Obey, who served central and northern Wisconsin as a representative from 1969 to 2011