Category Archives: MVNCI Events

2017 Tet Sinh Vien Festival

Photos by: Ned Du

Written by: Jullianne Pham, Miss Social 2016

The Royal Court attended the Tet Sinh Vien Festival at Yerba Buena High School on February 11th. Quan, Savannah, and Alex arrived in the early morning to help set up the MVNCI booth. The ladies gave away Li Xi’s to children that stopped by the table, and they also made arts & crafts with paper crowns along with the children. Several visitors stopped by the booth to take photos with the Royal Court as the afternoon passed. By the time it was 3PM, the ladies went backstage of the high school theatre to help prepare for the Miss Teen Tet Pageant competition! Jullianne arrived just in time to begin preparing the contestants for their competition. The Royal Court felt so overjoyed to see all the lovely contestants again—time flew by so fast from the Miss Teen Tet mixer back in January!

The 10 contestants were split up into their dressing rooms as the Royal Court were assigned their duties. Jullianne and Alex helped the girls in their dressing rooms, making sure that they changed into their right outfit on time to go on stage. Savannah helped with the lights and sound, and Quan arranged the order of ladies from other pageants to help with the crowning segment. Seeing the jitters of the girls as they conversed backstage was so nostalgic for the MVNCI Royal Court—this was the Royal Court almost exactly one year ago! It was different seeing a whole pageant unfold from the other perspective. Watching the contestants dance, do their introduction, walk in their Ao Dai and evening gown, and answer the questions by the judges felt a lot less nerve-wracking than actually experiencing it themselves. It felt exciting and amazing for the ladies to become mentors and older sisters towards the contestants on their special evening—guiding, supporting, and motivating them through all the crazy, scary feelings that the Royal Court went through a year ago.

When it was time to announce the Miss Teen Tet Pageant Royal Court, Quan gathered all of the pageant sisters backstage and handed a bouquet of roses, a sash, and a crown to each of them. Adrenaline was rushing through all of their bodies as they waited for the emcee’s to announce the winners! Julianne flowered Miss People’s Choice, Savannah flowered Miss Scholastic Achievement, Alex sashed Miss Talent and Second Princess, and Quan crowned the new Miss Teen Tet Queen. After the new Miss Teen Tet Royal Court had their share of photographs taken on stage, the ladies gathered for a huge group picture with the pageant royalty that attended the show.
It was a wonderful experience for the ladies to mentor the contestants of this pageant at the Tet Sinh Vien Festival. If you would like more information about the San Jose Tet Festival that is put on every year, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/TetSanJose.org/.
If you would like to revisit the Tet Sinh Vien event this year, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1685650811765494/
Thank you to the Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation, VIVO, who held this Tet festival event: https://www.facebook.com/VIVOusa/

Coronation Donations – Valley Children’s Hospital

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Written by: Savannah Pham, 1st Princess 2016

On Saturday, December 3rd, Quan, Alex, Jullianne, and I volunteered at the Valley Children’s Hospital located in Madera. Previously at our coronation in May, we collected donations for the hospital by auctioning off different items as well as holding a raffle for guests in attendance. When we arrived, we donated the $1300 we had raised, which hospital staff were greatly appreciative of.

We then had the opportunity to play with children in the hospital’s playroom. Since the holiday season was quickly approaching, we decided to teach the children how to make a piece of Christmas art. Children came in and out of the playroom when they had the chance, and we were able to make crafts with the children who wanted to spend some time with us. The craft we helped them make was a Christmas tree ornament that they could hang in their rooms or on a Christmas tree. The ornaments were made from three popsicle sticks. From there, the children were able to choose from additional decorations including a wide array of colorful string, construction paper, jingle bells, and pom poms.

Ultimately, this was a great experience for us to give back to the community during the holiday season and to bring smiles to these children’s faces.

If you would like more information about donating, volunteering, or visiting at Valley Children’s Hospital, please visit: https://www.valleychildrens.org

November Community Service – UVSA 10th Annual Summit

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Written by: Quan Huynh, MVNCI 2016 Queen

On Saturday November 19, Alex, Jullianne, and I hosted the “Boba & Chill” funshop for the 10th Annual Summit – Foundations: Identity to Action held by United Vietnamese Student Association of Northern California. This funshop was hosted for students currently enrolled in Northern California institutions, mainly members of the Vietnamese Student Associations.
We arrived at the University of the Pacific at 2:00PM. To start off our funshop, our 2016 Miss Social Jullianne, shared her networking tips that she learned from the pageant process with the funshop participants. Jullianne went above and beyond and even shared her personal Networking To-do’s checklist. Then, I led an icebreaker to encourage teamwork; as teamwork is extremely essential in order to accomplish the output quality.
After the icebreaker, our own MVNCI boba expert, Alex, was finally ready to teach participants how to make their own boba! Due to time constraints, Alex had already pre-cooked the pearls before leaving for Summit. However, Alex had prepared a detailed, well-written Powerpoint to show participants how to make the delicious boba milk tea step-by-step!
As Alex was wrapping up her Powerpoint, Jullianne and I began serving cups of milk tea of each of the students. We also brought grass jelly and rainbow jello as additional toppings–these all disappeared as quickly as the boba! This was also Jullianne and I’s first time tasting Alex’s boba tea and we have to say, it was delicious! Overall, we had a great time attending the 10th Annual Summit as funshop leaders with these students who are current leaders in their respective school’s Vietnamese Student Association in the Bay Area.
If you are interested in getting involved with UVSA or would like to attend Summit next year, please visit: http://norcaluvsa.org/

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/norcaluvsa

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/

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