Session 1

Jimmy Brown


I Wish I Had Known that Before I Started my Application to Med School

Jimmy Brown is a first year medical student at LSUHSC Shreveport. He went to Tulane University for undergrad where he majored in EBIO and Classical Studies. While in undergrad, he was an active member of TUVA and served as the EVP/ICC his senior year.


Applying to medical school (or any medical profession) is already an ordeal. What makes it worse is learning about all sorts of helpful advice and opportunities after it is too late. My goal with this workshop is to highlight the things I really wish someone had told me earlier, and thereby, help the generation of students after me Rise Above.

Dat Nguyen

Speaking Into Your Comfort Zone: Improve Public Speaking!


Dat Nguyen is an experienced leadership trainer, adventurer, life coach, and specializes in bringing out the best in others. For the past decade, he is known for his high energy seminars that instill his audience to 

step beyond their limitations and motivate change in themselves. Furthermore, Dat facilitates discussions and activities to improve soft skills for professionals who want to communicate and interact better with others. In addition, he enhances leadership qualities by implementing an everyday “win condition”. Dat's goal as a trainer and leader is to be able to network and create positive mindsets for those who are ready to gain confidence and become great leaders within their careers and communities. Ultimately, Dat teaches others to be the guiding light and spreads the positivity with the lessons and stories he shares: “Spread the Light and Be the Light.”


For the past years, Dat has seen young leaders struggling and needing more guidance on how to become better public speakers. In this workshop, attendees will be separated in groups and critique one another on topics varying from "Selling Your VSA" to "Please come to our meeting" speeches. He will teach some tangible and unique techniques to help these leaders learn how to use their energy and words in the right way. In his interactive workshop, Dat will show individuals how to become dynamic public speakers and "rise above" for the occasion to have their voices be heard and not "drowned" out by the other voices.


Kent Tong

Let’s Talk About Race, Baby

Kent Tong graduated in 2016 from Loyola University New Orleans, majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Film Studies. Currently residing in Chicago, IL, Kent was born and raised in a little-known town called Destrehan, about 45 minutes from New Orleans. He got his start in VSA when he joined the Loyola Asian Student Organization (LASO) in 2011. Throughout the past seven years, he has served as Internal Vice President and President of LASO, Executive Director of Camp Delta 8, Co-CORR for the Gulf Coast Region, and is currently President of UVSA Gulf Coast.


Anti-black sentiment is prevalent in Asian-American culture. This workshop will delve into the many factors and themes that contribute to racism in America, specifically institutional and systemic racism towards African-Americans. Unfortunately, many non-Black Americans don't believe these problems - like white privilege, police brutality, racial inequality - exist in modern society, but this workshop aims to educate and inform participants why this is not the case.


In understanding the plights of Black Americans, participants will hopefully be able to better relate to, and empathize with, the African-American community and see why we, as Asian-Americans, should be an ally to the Black Lives Matter movement.


Timmy Vo

The Power of Persuasion: How to Get Them to Say “YAAASS”

Timmy Vo was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and graduated from Xavier University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree of Chemistry Pre-Med. During his undergraduate education, he dedicated his time outreaching to young leaders through various student organizations in the Gulf Coast such as Xavier University Asian Association (XUAA) and Asian American Student Intercollegiate Association (AASIA). In 2012, as the Health Outreach Coordinator of VAYLA New Orleans, Timmy focused on raising awareness of wellness and self-care to youth. He was also passionately involved with the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA) as he continued to outreach and empower young leaders across the continent as a Collective Philanthropy Project Campaign director, Gulf Coast Council of Regional Representative, Conference Hospitality director for Dallas, TX, 2014-2016 Executive Secretary, and currently the Alumni Relations Director.

In May 2017, he graduated from the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Currently as the Dental Hygienist for Tulane Family Dentistry, he prevents oral disease by motivating patients to achieve optimal oral health. In his bucket list, he dreams to participate in a mission trip in Vietnam.

Timmy enjoys blogging, trying new recipes to cook for his loved ones, playing board games, embarking on adventures by traveling, and dancing the night away.


Asking someone for an important question is a polite way of getting what you want especially in asking businesses for sponsorship. But, putting yourself on the spot could be intimidating if not you are not prepared. Join Timmy in an interactive workshop that will allow attendees to build confidence and master the art of delivering elevator pitches. Participate in group activities and discussions about the essential steps and application of crafting a proposal that both parties can agree on.


This workshop will encourage young leaders to recognize their target audience, to effectively represent themselves and their organization professionally, and to politely ask for support in the success of their organization. In result, building partnerships among the Gulf Coast region would strengthen bonds to raise our community to a higher standard.

Huong Pham

How To Viet

Huong Pham is a former loan officer and mother of four children. Pham was born in Vung Tau, Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. in 1975. On Saturdays, she teaches Vietnamese language classes to students at St. Joseph Parish Catholic Church.

Forgot your Vietnamese or simply need a refresher on proper pronunciation of Vietnamese words? “How To Viet” is a language class that explores the Vietnamese pronunciation, symbols, and special vocabulary. Students will leave the class learning how to pronounce and better enunciate words and phrases. Here’s your chance to impress the elder Vietnamese community by learning how to say phrases like “I am a member of the Vietnamese Student Association at _____ school.”