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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943

Campus Welcomes 2006 Hmong District Conference

Campus Welcomes 2006 Hmong District Conference

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG - 7/27/2006 - An estimated 3,500 young people from across North America plan to participate in the largest conference hosted by UCM as the university welcomes participants of the 2006 Hmong District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance summer youth conference July 31 to Aug. 5.

A Rich Opportunity for the Entire Community

"We are excited to host this large group of young people on the UCM campus this summer.  Having these students here will offer a rich opportunity for the entire community," said Aaron Podolefsky, university president. "I am pleased that UCM is rapidly becoming well known for our capacity to offer excellent summer support for these sorts of programs."

Twenty-seven States, Two Canadian Provinces Represented

Kirsti Brunsvold, assistant director of facilities and conference services, said the conference will bring students from about 85 churches in the Hmong District to campus representing 27 states and two Canadian provinces. About 3,400 of the participants are expected to stay in campus residence halls.

Conference Allows Students to Exchange Ideas

The Hmong District is a protestant organization. It sponsors a conference every two years for junior high, high school and young adults who come from churches throughout the district. In addition to sending students to the conference, churches also provide adult sponsors who will be here to help conduct programs.

The week-long event gives participants an opportunity to participate in faith-based workshops, enjoy athletics and other competitive events, land listen to guest speakers and musicians.

UCM Provides Larger Setting for Growth

According to Andy Yang, director of youth for the Hmong District, the conference previously took place in northern Illinois. Because of growing interest among the district’s youth, the organization sought a larger institution that could better accommodate its facilities and technology needs.

Although district members attending the conference are from North America, the Hmong people originally migrated from southern China to areas of Laos, Vietnam and Thailand where many of them became farmers and lived in the mountains. During the Vietnam War, the Hmong  were forced by the communist government to flee that country after helping the American CIA. A large number of them resettled in the United States.