Towards the end of the Vietnam War, my family, like many others, fled their home country in hopes for better opportunities. Even in Vietnam my family never had much, but coming to a foreign land with no money and no knowledge of the language was a real struggle. From an early age I saw how hard my parents and siblings worked to achieve their “American Dream.” This made me appreciate all the opportunities that I have today even more.
I joined VSA eight years ago as a way to meet new people and to make new friends. Little did I know, VSA gave me a second family. As I became more involved with VSA, I begin to see that VSA was an opportunity to educate the younger generation on the history of how the Vietnamese community became what it is today.
After serving as President for the University of South Alabama, I thought my involvement with VSA was over. I was then given an opportunity to be involved with VSA, but on a larger scale. That is when I decided to join UVSA Gulf Coast, which is regional version of VSA that covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. At this point UVSA Gulf Coast was just building it’s foundation. But now look at where we’re at; it wasn’t easy, but with the help of so many passionate members of our region, we made it possible to host our region’s first Summit!
I hope that UVSA Gulf Coast can continue to grow and touch the lives of more generations to come. The passion and drive everyone had to make the Summit possible is truly inspiring. UVSA Gulf Coast definitely taught me a lot about myself as a leader. I will forever be grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of VSA and UVSA Gulf Coast, and if I made an impact on even just one person, it was worth all the hard work.