History of HAPA

In August of 2000, Ms. Chris Her-Xiong called and challenged the leaders of the Grace Hmong Alliance Church and other Hmong community leaders to come together to create an organization that preserves the Hmong culture and language while helping students become active and knowledgeable citizens in America. With the guidance and technical support from the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University, the Hmong American Peace Academy, Ltd., a non-profit (501c3) organization was established. Currently, the Hmong American Peace Academy, Ltd. manages two public charter schools (Hmong American Peace Academy (K-8) and the International Peace Academy High School).

Hmong American Peace Academy cultural group photograph

In 2004, Hmong American Peace Academy (HAPA) opened its doors as a non-instrumentality public charter school of the Milwaukee Public School system, serving more than 200 students from Kindergarten to fifth grade. Each year, another grade level has been added in response to steady demand from the community.

In the fall of 2008, the International Peace Academy (IPA) was created to serve the needs of high school students. It opened its doors in serving the students in grade 9. As the Academy developed within its community, it added a grade level each year to reach 12th grade. HAPA, Ltd.’s goal was to be Wisconsin’s first organization managing Hmong charter schools for students in grades K-12, which it met in the fall of 2011.