June 2013 Newsletter  (Vol 1 of 2)
Hello from VietHope!

Dear friends of VietHope,

It's been an incredible half-year for VietHope and we're excited to reminisce over a few of those moments with you!

Our Vietnam volunteers just finished workshopping with 50 Merit scholarship recipients near Saigon to help them build community around the values of GRACE (Gratitude, Responsibility, Accountability, Courage and Engagement), in collaboration with the New Moon Foundation.  The team also collected applications from college freshmen for the Youth Development Summit this summer, which will help us build a cohort full of smarts, talent and leadership to help the community.  And, we caught up with a Merit scholar from 2003.  We send you her amazing story from farmhouse poverty to studying for an MBA, below.

While all that was going on, the U.S. volunteers continue to press, push and dance towards building VietHope’s US community.  In this newsletter, we feature some great stories from celebrating our 10th anniversary, to electing new leadership, to our first Happy Hour for Hope in San Francisco!  We also just rolled out our new website full of videos and event updates, so please check it out!  Finally, we're excited to welcome 8 new interns into the VietHope family this June. In the next half of 2013, we hope to see you get involved, and catch you at an upcoming event!

Sincerely, The VietHope Team

VietHope Celebrates 10 Years of

Helping Students Achieve Their Dreams

From left to right:Quang Duong, Alan Tu, Chau Nguyen, Dang Vu, Minh Dang, Quang Tran, Nam Tran Nguyen, Vi Nguyen, Tiffany Phan, Uyen-Khanh Quang-Dang, Lynn Huynh, Oanh Nguyen, and Van Nguyen
VietHope turned ten years old in 2012!  Since 2002, we have provided a decade of hope and education to students in Vietnam.  Equally interesting, we have built a volunteer-based model that has lasted through generations of volunteers.  To celebrate this meaningful occasion, VietHope hosted our 10th Anniversary Gala in northern California on November 17, 2012.  Over 200 friends, family and community members poured out to attend the black-tie event at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  Our guests enjoyed an exhibition of Vietnamese American arts, a three-course dinner, VietHope stories and reflection, and danced into the night.  VietHope members came from all over the country to celebrate, and we raised over $20,000 to serve the VietHope mission!  We are grateful to our organizers, exhibit artists and donors from last fall's Gala.
A Fundraising Success: Happy Hour for Hope in San Francisco
Quang Tran, Dani Phuong Ton, Uyen-Khanh Quang-Dang and friendsOn Thursday, April 25th, 2013, San Francisco's VietHope members and their friends gathered for VietHope's first ever Bay Area Happy Hour Networking Night at the trendy Churchill bar in San Francisco. About 50 people showed up to meet and mingle with new friends over scrumptious ginger beer, rum and VietHope Specialty Cocktails. The crowd was a fun, interesting, and exceptionally good-looking mix of folks from the technology, business, medical, education, and art world.  Many of them were new to VietHope and wanted to know more about the work that VietHope does. Dani Phuong Ton and Uyen-Khanh Quang-Dang, organizers of the fundraiser event, thank everyone who came and donated their time and money to VietHope. This event was such a success that we plan to have more Happy Hour Networking Nights in the months to come -- hope to see you there!

Light at the End of the Tunnel: Profile of a VietHope Merit Scholar

In 2003, VietHope's Merit Scholarship Program granted a scholarship to Oanh Doan, a 10th grader form Vung Tau, Vietnam. Time flies and it's already been 11 years. Last month, we caught up with Oanh to hear her story

Oanh grew up in Ba Ria, Vung Tau, Vietnam. In 2009, she was introduced to VietHope and its Executive Director Phong Nguyen through a VietHope volunteer and started volunteering herself. Even under tough circumstances, Oanh has earned a degree in English Translation & Interpretation from Saigon University of Industry and a Diploma in Marketing & PR from the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

She now works as a Marketing Specialist in the field of psychological training and consultancy. Currently, Oanh is studying for her GMAT so that she can achieve her goal of obtaining an MBA overseas and continuing with her volunteer work. When asked how being a VietHope Merit Student has helped her, this was Oanh's response: 

"In fact, words cannot fully express my thoughts. It has been really great help, like you see a light at the end of the tunnel, when my family was in serious trouble (...[we had recently gotten into an] accident, [my] younger brother was born disabled, my family was bankrupt) without any [helping] hand except VietHope. The help might not solve all of our problems, yet it played as a motivation for me to look up. Currently, as a volunteer, I often tell the recipients about my story of overcoming my circumstances with the hope that it is possible for them to believe in their bright future."

VietHope Welcomes a New Team of Interns!

VietHope recently rolled out the 2013 Program and Research Associate Internship for current college students. After a careful process throughout the month of May that involved reviewing resumes, cover letters, personal and group interviews--we selected 8 interns from our three main regions in Washington D.C., Boston, and San Francisco. We're excited to welcome Christopher Lam, Hai Pham, Mai Pham, Kimberly Ta, An Tang, Linh Tran, Minh Khoa Tran, and Alice Zhang into the VietHope family! They have all demonstrated a deep passion for education, Vietnam and VietHope's mission. Stay tuned to learn more about how this high-potential group will leverage their skills, energy, and creativity to make a splash in the way that VietHope serves students in Vietnam. 
Program Updates from Vietnam
The VietHope team has been busy preparing for the 5th Annual Youth Development Summit, scheduled for July 14th-20th, 2013. We recently wrapped up a GRACE session, a collaborative project with the New Moon Foundation. The GRACE session was organized in Can Thanh secondary school in Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh city for about 100 VietHope Merit students. The project would not have been possible without VietHope's team of volunteers, especially the 5 facilitators were instrumental in enabling us to provide an environment for our students to explore the concepts of Gratitude, Respect, Accountability, Courage, and Engagement (GRACE). Below are some photos from these activities.  

Get Involved!

VietHope’s unique, low-overhead, operating model means that we are always looking for new members, funds, and staff volunteers to maximize our impact on youths in Vietnam. Operationally, we are primarily driven by a volunteer corps of about 40 young professionals—who work in the fields of education, healthcare, law, public policy, and technology. In order to run our programs successfully, we lean on the aggregate talents, energy, and dedication of young and established professionals as members, donors, and volunteers. Visit our website to find out how you can join as a VietHoper!

2013-2015 Executive Committee

Quang Tran has been deeply involved in VietHope for the past six years. She has worked in multiple areas from program development to administrative roles. Recently, in summer 2012, Quang visited Vietnam and participated in the Youth Development Summit with 30 Vietnamese college students, an experience she absolutely loved. Quang hods a B.A. from Harvard and an MBA/MA in Education from Stanford. She works as a management consultant at The Parthenon Group in San Francisco.

Quang Duong started as a Univeristy Scholarship Program (USP) coordinator in Fall 2007, overseeing USP's application review operations and volunteer recruitment. Quang also helped streamline the application process, expand the program to new schools, and build USP's data manageent system. Quang Duong now spearheads VietHope's IT infrastructure projects, team building activities, and grant application writing efforts. Quang Duong holds a B.A. from Harvard, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently data scientist/researcher at Google in Mountain View, California.

Vi Nguyen began volunteering for VietHope in 2008. She has led efforts in fundraising, having directed national grassroots campaign to raise over $50,000 to build VietHope's Youth Development Program in collaboration with the Union of North American Vietnamese Students Association (uNAVSA). She currently spearheads the management of staff volunteers, donor relations, and program evaluation. Vi received her BA from Yale University and is currently working in the public policy sector in Washington D.C.

Executive Director in Vietnam

Phong Nguyen has been in the field of development education since his first-year as a student at the University of Saigon. After graduating in 1997, he worked in many different fields: education, manufacturing, services, and advertising along with working as a volunteer for charities at home and abroad. In 2002, he became a volunteer for VietHope and in 2008, he was asked to serve as VietHope's head representative in Vietnam, our only paid and full-time employee.

VietHope Has A New Website! Check us out at: www.viethope.org

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