Tag Archives: community

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/
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Annual MVNCI Reunion

Written by: Alexandra Huynh, Miss Entrepreneur 2016

Every year, MVNCI holds a reunion for current and past title holders, contestants, and staff members. This year, we held our reunion at Shincha Tea in San Jose on January 15. Quan, Savannah, Jullianne and I had a wonderful time mingling with with everyone. It was so nice seeing old faces and meeting new ones. We had past contestants, previous court members, and volunteers come to snack and hang out with us. The tables were covered with different teas, toppings, and snacks. By the end of our reunion, all of the food was devoured! We would like to thank everyone, not only for attending our reunion, but for also supporting our organization.

We would also like to thank Shincha Tea for having us. The food and drinks were delicious! Be sure to check them out and write a Yelp review. You’ll get a FREE small drink along with it 🙂


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August Community Service: Let’s Clean Lake Merritt

Although all of us Court members have been so busy with gearing up for back to school or working our day jobs, we managed to get together on such a beautiful day to do a bit of community service in Oakland for our monthly community service project. Lake Merritt may seem absolutely spotless at first glance, but we all noticed that there was still some work to be done. Aside from the many cigarette butts thrown carelessly on the ground, there was still some trash around the lake. Lake Merritt is a nice place for a picnic, get together, or nice jog in the great outdoors, but that also makes way for a lot of littering and trash left behind. This is obviously bad for the environment but also for the ecosystem in that area. In just a short amount of time, I couldn’t help but revert to making observations my major taught me. As an environmental earth science major, I noticed how much nature and wildlife inhabits Lake Merritt. The birds, trees, swans, dogs etc. are all affected by the trash and debris that people carelessly leave behind. Humans, too, of course are also a part of this equation in creating the problem as well as being affected by it. Though it may have seemed like an insignificant action of cleaning up Lake Merritt, I know that every little step counts and helps work towards significant progress in creating a better, cleaner Earth!

What a nice way to get in a nice walk around the lake with my sisters while doing the environment some good! I could not think of a more enjoyable way to do community service.

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June Community Service: Fort Funston Nursery

On the morning of June 29th,  I was on my way to Fort Funston Nursery and I couldn’t help but admire what a beautiful day it was in the southwestern region of San Francisco.  What was surprising was that I didn’t know this area existed despite the fact that I use to live only less than 10 minutes away!


As we walked up to the volunteer area, Yolanda, Giang, and I, we were greeted by the staff as well as a station with snacks and refreshments.  As we waited for all the other volunteers to arrive, we explored the on-site greenhouse;  inside was a plethora of plants!

Shortly after, we were called over to the station where we were going to be working.  We were then introduced to the Silver Leaf Loofin.  The Loofin is an endangered plant and our duty was to transplant a bunch of Loofin into single tubes so an abundance may be rehabilitated and restored back into it’s natural habitat.  As we began, volunteers grabbed gloves to protect their hands, but I wanted to go bare and embrace mother nature; a little dirt is not harmful! 🙂 When I was transplanting, I felt at ease and calm and definitely focused; I forgot how peaceful it is when gardening and planting.

 When we got done with the project, all the volunteers voted to take a walk and tour other plants that are living on Fort Funston.  Some of the plants we were introduced to(and had a catchy name to remember) included Purple Milk Thistle, Coyote Bush, Sticky Monkey Flower, and the Yarrow plant which is a medicinal plant use to help with blood clots.

I had a great time volunteering and learning a little bit of mother nature and its history…Nonetheless, it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be outdoors helping out at a nursery!

For more photos, please visit us at MVNCI!

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June Community Service: FAME – Fashion Art Music Exhibition

Raising Awareness – Human Trafficking

What is FAME? It stands for “Fashion Art Music Exhibition” and is a bi-annual event in San Jose that showcases artists’ work of fashion, art, and music in a one-day exhibition and fashion show. At this year’s event, MVNCI was fortunate to partner with Pacific Links Foundation (PALS) as exhibitors to spread awareness about human trafficking.

What is human trafficking? It is the trade in humans for sexual slavery or forced labor; it is modern day slavery. Sadly, it is a lucrative industry that finds profit in many countries around the world including Vietnam and even the United States.

Volunteering for FAME and partnering with PALS was a very rewarding experience, and being able to educate a vast crowd on such a serious and important topic was not only meaningful but educational as well. It was heartwarming and inspirational to hear stories of survivors and all the things they have been able to achieve since being pulled from such horrible circumstances. MVNCI was proud to display the artwork done by these survivors, which included paintings, handmade bags, and artwork as well as educational pamphlets for passers-by to take home and read for more information. Not only was PALS able to help these women turn their lives around, this organization has been instrumental in gearing them towards making good decisions for a better life. Most have gone to school and/or found jobs or careers that they enjoy. I am still in awe at how much these women have overcome and how much potential they have for what life has left in store for them.

My hat goes off to PALS and organizations like FAME. It is with organizations like these that we will become more aware of pressing issues that need to be addressed – all in an open and safe space that celebrates creativity, artistry, and community.


Posted in Events, My Ngan Cao, Thao Huynh, Theresa Hoang, Truc Le, Yolanda Vo | Also tagged , , , , , , , Leave a comment