Yian Saechao is of Iu-Mienh descent, an ethnic hill tribe originating from China. Her parents immigrated to America due to the Secret War in Laos. Her parents were born in the Northern Hills of Laos and took refuge in the refugee camps of Northern Thailand. In the escape for survival, her parents were sponsored to relocate in America.

After the loss of her mother in 2006, Yian Saechao assumed the role of an informal social worker/translator for her family. She is a proud Parkrose alumni and earned a 4-year full-ride scholarship to Seattle University. Yian obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Affairs specializing in Community Public Health and minor in Social Welfare.

Her lived experience and encounters with her family and the health care system, among the many oppressions that her family faces, has truly shaped her lens on the injustices of the world. Yian is committed to social justice and health equity. Her many actions for justice is grounded in community organizing, political education, and collective healing. Her previous actions towards justice and equity is demonstrated through her work as a student researcher in Northeastern Thailand, with the Tenants’ Union of Washington, with Ending Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC)/Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR), as assistant coordinator of Middle College (an alternative high school), and as an organizing leader of SilencedVoices.

Yian joins APANO as the Civic Engagement Associate overseeing the New American Voters Project (NAVP) in recruiting volunteers and the exploring the expansion of the Civic Engagement component of APANO.