Our mascot, a happy mouse

Yuphin Oulagon

New, but enthusiastic!

Photo of Yuphin Oulagon

Yuphin's enthusiasm to learn is evident when you see her sitting at a computer, trying to master the mouse. (And that's not our Big Brother Mouse!) She also wants to write, telling the story of her own life, in hopes that others will be inspired to learn from the mistakes she says she made at a younger age. (You'll have to wait for that book to learn more!)

She grew up in Luang Prabang where she lived in her pre-school years with a loving grandmother. When her grandmother died, Yuphin lived with an aunt for most of her teenage years, then joined her mother and three sisters at age 15. This was a difficult time in her life.

Her mother could not afford to send her to university in Vientiane to study engineering, which she had wanted to do. Instead, Yuphin settled for a three-year hospitality program at the college in Luang Prabang. Not happy with this field, she began joining us on our book parties as a volunteer. Soon after, we hired her and now she uses drawing, singing, and Lao dance skills that she learned at the Children's Cultural Center to get children in rural villages excited about reading. She has also teamed up with two other newer staff members here, Vannaled and Link, to write "Do You Like to Read?", a beginning-reader book inspired by Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham."

One day, Yuphin hopes to study child development, and to learn English. For now, she says she is much happier now that her life is on a better track. We hope she'll share some of the stories of her earlier years, the choices she faced, and the lessons she learned.