WSAW’s Bao Vang Wins Young Professional Award
Gray Television CBS affiliate WSAW Wausau, Wis. (DMA 135), announced that its Sunrise 7 Anchor-Executive Producer Bao Vang has received the 2010 Athena Young Professional Award from the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes emerging leaders who “demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession. It’s given to individuals who contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the region and clearly serve as a role model for young women, personally and professionally.”
As a first-generation American and one of the first Hmong news anchors in the country, simply coming to work on Sunrise 7 each weekday makes Bao Vang a role model for other young girls and women, the station said. She co-anchors the 4:30-7 a.m. weekday newscast with veteran news anchor Jeff Thelen. But, WSAW noted, Vang doesn’t stop there. Stating it’s her life mission to “pay it forward,” she devotes countless hours to mentoring area youth and speaking at numerous schools and community programs.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Vang dedicated the award to her mother, saying, “She taught me, even in this fast-paced world, and even if we don’t have excessive income, the best thing we could give anyone is a moment of our time. We all have time to make a difference in someone’s life. The time my Mom invested in me is the most valuable thing she could have ever given.”
Vang is an active member of several organizations including HOPE Women, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, for which she serves as a board member. She was also honored with this year’s Friend of Education award by the State Superintendant of Schools for her work to develop a better understanding of Hmong culture.