Beatrice Vang Hazelton

Entrepreneur Business Woman

EDUCATION

Studied Business & Finance
California State University, Sacramento

ACHIEVEMENTS

Achievement Award
Heritage of America Educational & Cultural Foundation
Community Service Award American Association of University & Women League of Women Voters in Bakersfield
Leadership in Business Award National Republican Congressional Committee

WHAT I DO AT WORK

I currently own and operate two businesses: a driving school and tax representation business. I started both 25 years ago. I also serve on the Hmong Civil Rights Organization, Kern County AIDS Advisory Board, and Bakersfield Lao Buddhist Board.

BIOGRAPHY

I came to American in 1975. I had my first child at 14 as a Freshman in high school, and my second child two after graduation.

Being a young Hmong wife and new mother in an unfamiliar country was extremely difficult. There was no room or opportunity to pursue my dreams of becoming a doctor or business professional. I willingly put my dreams aside to fully support my husband in achieving his dreams and took care of my children at home.

In the following 17 years and in spite of facing a physically abusive marriage, I became a very accomplished female. I helped my husband build, own, and operate two restaurants; volunteered for community organizations like Planned Parenthood; served on boards for non-profits that serve underrepresented groups; and raised two children.

Then, I became a single mother. I had little to no emotional or financial support and lived hours away from my family. In this difficult time, I realized that the only way I was going to provide a better life for my children was to build something of my own. Inspired by my brothers who ranked high in the Hmong military and figures like Mother Theresa who cared for the less fortunate, I was able to persevere through these hardships in order to give back to my community.

I picked myself up and did what I had to do for myself and my children. I capitalized on my business acumen and became an entrepreneur. I started a driving school and tax representation business, and also purchased, improved, and sold an auto repair shop. I also continued to serve on non-profit organization boards and received many awards for my service.