October Community Service – VietAYA’s MAYS

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Written by: Savannah Pham, 1st Princess 2016

Photo Credits: Tuan Anh Nguyen

On Sunday October 23rd, Quan, Alex, Jullianne, and I volunteered in San Jose for the MAYS (Mid-Autumn Youth Summit) workshop, held by the Vietnamese-American Youth Association. This workshop was hosted for high school students, mainly those in their local high school Vietnamese Student Associations who were rising leaders. To start off the day after introducing ourselves, we asked the students to introduce themselves and their schools so we could learn more about them. Then, Quan and I led an icebreaker to encourage active listening; as active listening is an integral part of communicating effectively as a leader. For this icebreaker, the students had to pair off and share either their happiest moment or something they looked forward to. After both students had the chance to share their stories, they were asked to repeat the other student’s story back to them to gauge how well each person had listened.
After the icebreaker, we split into smaller groups and the four of us facilitated a teambuilding activity. The idea for this activity came from the same activity we had done during our court retreat, so Alex and Jullianne chose to have the high school students do it since it had been fun and educational for us. For the activity, one of the students in the group had to instruct the other group members (who were blindfolded and instructed not to speak) how to construct Lego pieces into a certain formation. The students did an excellent job and once we debriefed, we discussed the importance of communication, listening, teamwork, and the importance of modeling these skills as leaders in their schools. Overall, we had a great time working with these students and getting to know the future leaders of our Vietnamese community here in the Bay Area.

If you are interested in participating in MAYS next year, you can read all about the summit at: https://www.facebook.com/VietAYA/

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Community Service – Lytton Gardens

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Written by: Jullianne Pham, Miss Social 2016

On Saturday October 1, 2016; Jullianne and Alex visited the Lytton Gardens in Palo Alto to help decorate the nursing home for Halloween! The ladies arrived at 10AM to check-in. Upon arrival, they were led towards the storage room in the back—there were a handful of boxes, containers, and baskets full of Halloween decorations! They were told that they had the freedom to decorate as they pleased in the front lobby and in the back room where the elderly played games and ate their meals. Alex and Jullianne decorated the front lobby first with window decals, scarecrow stands, ceiling decor, and wall decorations. Halloween signs, skeletons, and bats were hung along each wall of the room; while pumpkins, ghosts, and orange & black decor were placed among the tables, table stands, and counters. Some of the elderly even stopped by to give them advice on where to place the decorations!

Once Alex and Jullianne finished decorating the front lobby, they proceeded to the back room. They pasted window decals on all of the backyard doors, hung ceiling decors along each corner of the room, and placed small pumpkins along the walls and ground of the room. Small scarecrows and witches were placed at various corners of the room; some were also placed on the piano and desks. The elderly that were playing cards and bingo at the time complimented the ladies on how well they decorated and conversed with them about their volunteer work—it was heart-warming hearing their lovely comments about how not many volunteers come by to help, so it was nice seeing new faces for a change.
When Alex and Jullianne finished, one of the elderly approached them to talk about school and their pageant experience. It was a lovely experience being able to work with the elderly. Being able to make their day by livening up the place with new decorations made the ladies very happy!
If you are interested in volunteering at Lytton Gardens in the future, you can express your interest to: Dora Sanchez, dsanchez@jtm-esc.org
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A Union of Golden Hearts

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Written by: Quan Huynh, MVNCI 2016 Queen

Photo Credits: Triphoto Tran

 

On Sunday, September 18th, the 2016 MVNCI Court had the honor of attending and participating at Golden Hearts’ annual fundraising dinner at Dynasty Restaurant in San Jose. Golden Hearts is a non-profit organization co-founded by Jessica Tran and Kieuxuan Nguyen. The organization puts in countless hours and effort to raise money for the school-aged children in Vietnam. They believe that every child should have a chance at a quality education. Every summer, Golden Hearts travels to Vietnam to donate and assist people in need. MVNCI has been a proud supporter of Jessica and her team for many years.

This year, on top of attending the event, the 2016 MVNCI Court also participated in the fashion shows! Court members had a chance to walk in beautiful spring dresses sponsored by Vindyco by Cindy Vo and showcase our own áo dài (Vietnamese traditional dress). We were all very grateful for the opportunity to showcase beautiful outfits while supporting a wonderful cause.
On behalf of MVNCI, we would like to congratulate Jessica Tran and her team for another successful fundraising event! If you are interested in donating towards this cause, please visit http://aunionofgoldenhearts.org/ or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aunionofgoldenhearts/

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Miss Asian Global 2016 Pageant

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Written by: Y Phun, 2nd Princess 2016

Photo Credits: David Yu Photography and Miss/Mrs. Vietnam USA Pageant

 

On August 20th, 2016; the MVNCI 2016 court attended the 2016 Miss Asian Global (MAG) Pageant at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. My court and I had the opportunity to watch the MAG pageant for the first time. When we arrived at the theater our escort, Cong, showed us where to check in and get our ticket. We talked to the programming staff and they told us the tasks we needed to do. We helped the programming committee by handing out program booklets and by asking for donations for the Jade Ribbon Campaign—which raised awareness for hepatitis B and liver cancer within the Asian-American community. It was nice greeting and mingling with people as they were coming in. It was also nice being reunited with our friends from different pageants again as we all supported the MAG delegates together.

Around 7PM, we were seated at the VIP balcony along with the other pageants’ courts. The show started with the beautiful traditional costumes from different cultures. It was beautiful to see the handmade costumes and the unique outfits that each delegate wore. Their self-introductions, fitness and swimsuit, talent, and evening gown portions followed the traditional costumes. The whole show was filled with colors and inspiring words from different viewpoints. The women that presented themselves on stage were beautiful, smart, independent, strong, and passionate about their platform. It was also my first time experiencing the other side of pageantry from the audience’s view. I could feel the nervousness and excitement from the girls because I was in their shoes 5 months ago. The feeling of being on stage and talking in front of a few hundred people was rushing through me again.  The Miss Asian Global pageant was a wonderful production–but the whole show went by so quickly!

I would like to congratulate the new Miss Asian Global 2016 Royal Court. On behalf of MVNCI, I would like to thank the Miss Asian Global organization for inviting us to their pageant.

For more information about the Miss Asian Global Pageant and their new royal court, please visit: http://missasianglobal.com

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August Community Service – Veggielution

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Written by: Savannah Pham, 1st Princess 2016

On Saturday, August 6th, Quan, Alex, and I had the pleasure of volunteering our time at Veggielution, located in San Jose. Veggielution is a six-acre community farm that provides a unique opportunity for volunteers like ourselves to learn about growing food. As a community farm, the organization distributes its crops at low costs or free to the community. Veggielution is very conscious about its impact on the community and distributes its crops through a myriad of ways such as their Farm Stand, volunteer give-aways, and soup kitchen donations.

That morning Quan, Alex, and I started off with a new volunteer orientation where one of the interns showed us Veggielution (which includes a kitchen where they hosted cooking lessons, a youth garden, a hen house, and an orchard). The three of us were then assigned to work at the fruit orchard with other volunteers. They were in the process of re-mulching the trees, so we had the opportunity to learn about proper nutrition for soil in order to get the best results. This process of mulching includes cutting up donated cardboard and placing them around the bases of the trees at a certain distance. Then, we shoveled piles of woodchips and raked them on top of the cardboard. Volunteering with Veggielution was a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about how our food is grown while giving back to the community.

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