APPLETON, Wis. — The girl with the big ideas and insatiable curiosity was trapped.The direction Fanni Xie saw her life going and what the Chinese government had in store for her were a couple of galaxies apart. Xie wanted to explore, see different places, experience new things.But she was locked in her middle-school classroom in Shenyang, China every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. This included weekends and holidays. Competition, for grades and approval, was NFL-level.She was fed a steady diet of math and physics, but she was more of a right-brain kid.“When I was in middle school in China,’’ said Xie, “it was traumatic for me. Back then, all they cared about was math and physics and I really wasn’t good at those. The teachers really didn’t like me that much.’’She wanted to be her own conductor on her life journey, but she suffered inside because she knew she had to accept her path had already been chosen for her.
Xie, 35, wound up in the Fox Valley after her husband took a job with Oshkosh Truck. She then began taking classes toward her master’s degree at UW-Green Bay (MSW) and also worked in the Veterans Services office, which is where she discovered the Innovator Accelerator program at FVTC.
And suddenly, her long-time dream of opening her own business had a chance to become reality.