Growing up, I never felt “Asian” enough. From attending private school since the first grade, to being one of three Asians in my class, I was always considered the Token Asian guy or called “Twinkie” because I was “yellow on the outside, but white on the inside.” I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
But then came VSA.
When I attended my first VSA meeting in college, I was instantly captivated by the icebreakers, the social events, and the presentation of the Collective Philanthropy Project. I dived head first into the organization and “VSA is all you talk about” became my mantra. The Vietnamese Student Association at Louisiana State University was only the beginning of my VSA journey, but it led me to where I am today with UVSA Gulf Coast. Little did I know this would be the ride of my life.
At the beginning of our UVSA term, each Executive Board member talked about the legacy we wanted to leave behind. As an e-board, we wanted to make a mark within the region and to see our region proudly represent the Gulf Coast. When UNAVSA-14 was held in New Orleans this past year, I saw our region stand up, scream, and chant, “Who you wanna be? GC! GC!”. Individually, I wanted to be someone who motivated others to see the potential within themselves and step up into a leadership position. And I believe that I have been successful in leaving something valuable behind.
To these past two years with my two amazing groups of Intercollegiate Council, y’all were my favorite part. From long meetings over Google Hangout to the madness of Date Auction planning, the ICC became the family I didn’t know I needed.
To Kent, TT, Tony, and Lina, I could not have survived the past two years without y’all. We were able to accomplish so much within our term, and I am proud to say that we were together to do it all. From picking on Kent for his lame icebreakers to Tony’s obsession with his ketchup bottle, I will truly miss these little things during our many – I repeat, many – calls.
VSA gave me confidence and pride in my skin color. VSA gave me passion to give back to my community and to those in Vietnam through CPP. VSA gave me forever friends. VSA keeps on giving, and no matter how much I give back I don’t think I can ever fully repay VSA for everything. Thank you VSA for the best years of my life.