Paying it Forward: A reinvestment towards the Vietnamese American Youth.
I am Stephen Huong Kim Binh Nguyen. A founder, twice President, Internal Vice President, and External Vice President, former advisor, and alumnus of The Mid-Atlantic Union of Vietnamese Student Associations, MAUVSA, Liên Hội Sinh Viên Việt Nam Mid-Atlantic, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization I helped found with several peers in 2007. Born in Chantilly Virginia, I am the son of Hong-My Tran, Nha Trang, and Huong Thuy Nguyen, Saigon, both immigrants arriving in the United States with nothing. I am a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Philosophy in Public Policy and Ethics now working as a developer evangelist, software engineer, and entrepreneur in San Francisco, California. I’m writing this post today to explain why I donated $50,000 to MAUVSA.
MAUVSA serves the Vietnamese American community, unifies the VSAs of the Mid-Atlantic region, and empowers young Vietnamese Americans by fostering cultural awareness, promoting social justice, and developing leadership.
MAUVSA is the community and support system that I wished had existed while I personally struggled through high school, university, and searching for a job. In fact MAUVSA is the support system I needed to help me stay focused to graduate from my university and pursue my professional dreams. As a High schooler and early freshmen at college, I was directionless addicted to playing video games and lacking in motivation. By committing my energy towards leadership development, fundraising, organizational development, teamwork, and growing my peers, I developed my own personal confidence to confront my challenges and pursue my dreams. I titled this post with the word “reinvestment” Because I strongly believe I have benefitted from this organizations existence and want to “pay it forward” per say.
Donating to MAUVSA is a means to strengthen our Vietnamese community’s most critical players, the college educated youth and young professionals. They are a focal point to bringing mentorship to our younger brothers and sisters and guidance for our elders who sacrificed so much to see then work towards higher education.
I’m no stranger to donating and working to raise funds towards causes involving human and sex trafficking of children, education, and disease all of which are important causes. I have worked steadily with our organizations, The Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations, UNAVSA, Liên Hội Sinh Viên Việt Nam Bắc Mỹ Châu, and MAUVSA, and other UVSAs have collectively raised approximately $700,000 for 10 different nonprofit humanitarian organizations over the last 10 years. Humanitarian efforts are important I however it is imperative that we also focus on the importance of empowering and developing our youth with skill sets in leadership, financial development, and social justice.
I chose to personally donate $50,000 honoring the 10 year anniversary of the founding of MAUVSA as a signal to others that re-investing time, talent, and money into our community is a worthwhile endeavor. These funds will be used to ensure stability of current programs, grow new ones, and expand MAUVSA’s ability to serve our Vietnamese American youth. A return for my investment will be in the form of a Vietnamese American youth ready for the challenges of tomorrow, more young Vietnamese woman and men in top leadership positions in our governments and corporations. I ask of our parents and elders, to encourage your children from joining, interacting with, and working with VSAs and MAUVSA as it will grow them as individuals personally and professionally.
I know my younger cousins, nieces , nephews, children, and their children’s children will benefit from a Vietnamese American community that is more prepared for the challenges of the future. I am proud to be a Vietnamese American and a proud founder and alumni of MAUVSA.
Thank you Co Tuyet Mai who pushed me start writing something publicly.
Learn more about our 10 year Anniversary and history by reading “The Mid-Atlantic Union: 10 Years and Beyond”
With the best regards for our beloved community,
“If you have done well in whatever business you are in, it is your duty to send the elevator back down and try to help bring up the next generation of undiscovered talent.”
MAUVSA decided to develop a Fund and Grant program to give foundation for projects and events. Learn more