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November 20, 2011
Not For Sale: Stop Child Sex Slavery

Back in May, SU VSA hosted the Xuan Festival to raise money for One Body Village (OBV), a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and taking care of children trafficked into the sex industry, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam. A few of our members attended OBV's annual benefit dinner in Seattle. Tin Bui and Ly Nguyen went up to present a donation (in Vietnamese!!!) which was $2,500 which was the profit from Xuan Festival. The night consisted of food, a cake auction, a live auction, singing performances by some famous Vietnamese-American entertainers (Tran Thai Hoa, Dan Kim, Kristine Sa...), and a presentation by the organization's founder, Father Martino Ba Thong Nguyen. The event was MC'd by Verlinda Vu and Ton Nguyen.

+OBV Not For Sale: Stop Child Sex Slavery
+VSA Turkey Bowl & Thanksgiving Dinner
+MVWA Winter Gala
+Summer/Autumn Miscellaneous Events
+National Summit in DC
+Xuan Festival-Journey of Dreams
November 12, 2011
VSA Turkey Bowl & Thanksgiving Dinner

Instead of throwing the Turkey Bowl & Thanksgiving Dinner for just University of Washington's (UW) VSA and SU VSA (who hosted the event this year), we decided to bring all Northwest VSA's into the mix! SU VSA, UW VSA, Western Washington University VSA and Highline Community College VSA played football at The Lid on Mercer Island in the morning and gathered at SU's Casey Commons in the evening for an elaborate potluck (three turkey's, two dishes of cornbread, mashed potatoes, lots of stuffing, and oodles of desserts!). We ate, played games, and bonded.

November 11, 2011
Miss Vietnam Washington Winter Gala

The Miss Vietnam Washington (MVWA) organization is a registered non-profit whose mission is to showcase Vietnamese culture, language, heritage, and philosophy and to strengthen relations across different generations in the local Vietnamese-American community. SU VSA's members attended MVWA's Winter Gala, at Tea Palace Restaurant, both as guests and volunteers. The Gala, entitled "Define Your Destiny", served to raise money for a mentorship and leadership program benefitting Vietnamese-American teenage girls. The night consisted of a cultura dance, live auction, cake auction, delicious food and desserts, and an awesome fashion show (which our very own Brian Teodoro modeled in), and a heart-felt speech by our Executive VP and Miss Vietnam Washington 2010-2011, Verlinda Vu, about why the mentorship program means a lot to her.

Along the lines of her speech were memories of being unhappy about being an ethnic minority and member of the lower economic class as a young teenager. She felt somewhat ashamed that her mother could not speak English and was a blue-collar employee. Now at 20 years old, she regrets feeling that way. She sees the same scenarious in teenagers and hopes to mentor them into independent young girls who embrace the background they come from.

Miscellaneous Events

August 20, 2011 NW VSA Meet & Greet - WWU, UW, SU, HCC, OSU, UW VSA students gather at Mercer Island Lid Park to bond and get to know each other!

October 1, 2011 SU VSA Fall Officer Retreat and World Dance Party - SU VSA officers attend World Dance Party @ Southeast Seattle Senior Center

October 7, 2011 SU VSA at Saigon Electric - SU VSA watches a movie about youth dancers in struggle @ AMC Southcenter

November 13, 2011 SU Cultural Chill Night - The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts an event where all cultural clubs gathered to talk about their mission and planned events for the year! There was also entertainment by members of the club. The event was MC'd by UFC's Rosalie Cabison and VSA's Thomas Bui.

July 28-31, 2011

The Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA), a non-profit and community-based organization comprised of Vietnamese youth organizations across the continent, held its annual conference, uNAVSA-8, from July 28-31, 2011. The organization’s purposes are to help individual organizations foster leadership and management skills and strengthen membership and activism.

This year, Kim Bui, Thomas Bui, and Verlinda Vu attended the conference with the intentions to better their leadership and professional skills, gain cultural awareness, network, and have lots of fun! This means that they went to many workshops and talks, learned how to network effectively, bonded with new faces that were Vietnamese youth leaders, ate good food and went sight-seeing.

When asked Kim what the conference meant to her, she replied that “it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and by far the best leadership event I have ever been to. It was really great seeing so many people in one place and passionate about one culture. There was constant discussion about our families and the sacrifices that they made in immigrating to America and what we as a young generation of Vietnamese-American leaders can do to keep the legacy going. If I could fly every Vietnamese person to the next conference so they could see how amazing and transformational it could be to their lives, I’d do it! And for the record, I LOVE being Vietnamese!”

They did lots of planking too.

July 2, 2011
Inaugural National Summit of Vietnamese-American Leaders

At the Inaugural National Summit of Vietnamese-American Leaders held in Washington DC on July 2, 2011, over two hundred leaders from all over the country came together to develop a national platform to advance the Vietnamese community in the next decade. Among the delegates that flew from the Seattle area were our very own SU VSA’s Tin Bui, Anthony Nguyen, and Verlinda Vu. They were sponsored by generous local donors to attend the summit and attain skills from which they can bring home and impact change.

At the summit, Tin, Anthony, and Verlinda learned priceless information about how to develop the community and build strong social organizations. This included an array of topics including social leadership development, credibility, non-profit finance, keys to communication, organization branding, and much more.

“One of the most valuable aspects of the summit was being able to engage with such influential figures in our community. The accumulation of hundreds of Vietnamese American leaders sharing similar goals and aspirations presented a valuable networking opportunity that means available support on a national scale. We will have the opportunity to analyze and learn about the different successes and struggles of other communities and organizations. As some of the youngest delegates in attendance, connecting with these key figures gave us a sense of community, identity, and inspiration to continue our involvement in our community back home.” – Tin and Verlinda

May 21, 2011
6th Annual Xuan Festival - Journey of Dreams

Our 6th Annual Xuân Festival, “Journey of Dreams” was a unifying event that encompassed a remarkable amount of effort, devotion, and passion. This event, held on May 21st, 2011, showcased an array of cultural performances, beautiful hand-made decorations, authentic Vietnamese cuisine (prepped and cooked by the students themselves!), and fun entertainment throughout the evening.

Through an amazing collaboration by the SU VSA students, friends, families, and supporters, SU VSA was able to put on a cultural show that earned over $2500 for One Body Village, an organization dedicated to combating sex trafficking and rescuing victims in Vietnam and Cambodia.

As a club, VSA strives to promote a strong sense of unity, community service, and cultural ties within the meetings and events. Xuân Festival brings together the students in a way that the meetings alone cannot. The 7th Annual Xuân Festival is coming up this year and there are opportunities for everyone to participate in any way, big or small, to help make it another successful show for 300+! Make sure to come out to the meetings to learn more about these wonderful opportunities!

Ashley Nguyen and Tammy Nguyen, 2010-2011 Xuân Chairs, had quite the experience with the event. “It was by far one of the greatest experiences of our SU careers. It became stressful at times but it was more than worth it seeing the results in the end, knowing that we were able to raise so much for an amazing cause. From this experience, we took away more than just memories. We were able to embrace our beautiful culture, push ourselves beyond our expected limits, and develop lifelong friendships. We encourage you to participate in it if you are able to!” – Ashley and Tammy

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