A recent high school graduate who lives in Guilford, North Carolina, Kristy Nguyen came to the United States eleven years ago from Vietnam. She is a young woman who understands the value of service.
“I have always liked volunteering,” Kristy says. “I started to volunteer in ninth grade by helping a second grader with her homework.”
This turned out to be just the beginning of Kristy’s commitment to helping others. In her junior year Kristy began volunteering with Church World Service, working as a translator for recent immigrants and refugees. “I enjoyed helping because I knew what they were going through,” Kristy explains. “I was once in their shoes.”
Through this program Kristy met Dan Quinn, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Children of Vietnam – an organization that provides a range of services to disabled children in Vietnam, many of whom have been affected by Agent Orange. Kristy was invited to attend one of their board meetings and was instantly moved by the passion of the staff. She began volunteering with Children of Vietnam in 2010.
“Community service has brought me out of my inner shell,” Kristy says. “It helps me look beyond my surroundings and recognize that there is a lot more to discover and learn.”
Over the last year, Kristy has become an active member of the Children of Vietnam team, contributing to many events, fundraisers and strategies to help Vietnamese families in need. She even involved her classmates by raising awareness of the long-term impact of Agent Orange and collecting donations for Children of Vietnam at her high school’s annual international festival. She raised more than $500.
“I have never forgotten my roots and am deeply touched by stories I hear of the poor in Vietnam who are suffering from poverty, insufficient healthcare and the harmful health effects of Agent Orange,” Kristy says.