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Maikou Xiong begins and ends each day the same way, caring for the homebound sick and elderly.

Between the hour-long visits with her patients at the break of dawn and late into the evening, the personal care worker goes to school full time, manages a student store and serves as the vice president of her student government association.

“It’s a lot of work and that’s just reality,” she said.

The 24-year-old daughter of Hmong immigrants from Thailand is a student at Job Corps, a U.S. Department of Labor career-training program that was created as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty 50 years ago.

Xiong is in her last year of the program, which is geared toward economically disadvantaged youth and young adults between the ages of 16 to 24. She has been studying to become a certified nursing assistant for a year and a half.

Part of her motivation to endure the grueling days and to become a nurse is to be able to financially help her impoverished family, including her disabled mother and her father, who supports Xiong and her six siblings with his job as a maintenance worker.

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- - Volume: 2 - WEEK: 47 Date: 11/18/2014 1:39:07 PM -