Children through Adults
Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges
Formerly Incarcerated or At Risk of Incarceration
Chom joins the Milkweed team bringing physical fitness instruction as well as outdoor sports and activities as tools to achieve wellness. Chom uses his skills in these areas to help others build structured routines in their lives to promote health, responsibility, and mindfulness. He credits his development of self-confidence, and of a sense of identity, as key to his rise out of hardships and challenges he has faced in his life—the empowerment he has found, is what he strives to help others find in their own journeys.
Chom was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, where he spent his first four years, until a sponsor from the Chippewa Valley began working with his family to bring them to Wisconsin. Chom sees the sponsor who helped his parents, and his family, as having been instrumental in the opportunities Chom’s family has had and built a life from. However, this was not the end of his challenges in life, as he now had to face an unfamiliar culture in a foreign land. Chom had difficulty bridging the divide between his Hmong culture and Wisconsin culture, and this disconnect from community, along with childhood traumas, caused him to travel down destructive paths, leading to addiction, and his eventual incarceration. Chom used structured routines consisting of physical fitness, education, and mindfulness to break free of the destructive patterns of recidivism, addiction, and self-despair. Along his journey, he has mentored many others, and helped them find the tools he has used to be successful, even when the odds were against him.
Chom is proud to have the opportunity to provide support and relatability to individuals who are seeking a way to break free of negative cycles and patterns in life. He finds it an honor to be the person for someone else, that he wishes he would have had along his journey.