VSU Voices is an audio narrative series compiled by the Vietnamese Student Union at UCLA. This is our recognition of the personal narrative — the power to influence and inspire by way of listening and reflecting on stories from our community. We also intend the series to serve as an audio archive of a small sample of our generation of VSU leaders and members.
Every Wednesday, up until May 2014, two new audio narrative stories will be released here on vsubruins.com. We encourage you to listen, discuss, and share these voices! Since this is our first series, we will expand our interviews to include more members of our community for future series based on your positive response.
Jason Treul grew up with two parents who always see themselves as young at heart. While he may not know everything about his Vietnamese culture, it is his mom’s unique customs that remind him of his heritage.
Jason was the VSU Webmaster during Fall 2013 and serves as HOPE Assistant Director for Winter and Spring 2014.
“He was just a really quirky guy”
Teri Nguyen’s grandfather was beside her for much of her childhood. He greatly influenced her morals, and his quirky personality later influenced the script she wrote for the 34th Annual Vietnamese Culture Night.
Teri is the VSU Culture Coordinator 2013-2014.
“I was willing to learn.”
Anh Q Nguyen came to the U.S. after spending nine years in Vietnam. Though difficult at first, she made the most of her opportunities and arrived at UCLA. She now reflects on her VSU experiences and the road she took to being VSU President.
Anh is the VSU President 2013-2014.
“The origins of my last name.”
Ashley Hanson has always been questioned for her uncommon last name despite being Vietnamese. She describes where her name originated from and explains why she just doesn’t mind it.
Ashley is a VSU Intern 2013-2014.
Justin Nguyen has a name he likes to call the traditional giỗ ceremonies, but it’s not as dark as it sounds. That’s because these “deathiversaries” serve as time for his family to reunite and honor their loved ones’ memories.
Justin is the VSU Outreach Coordinator for Winter and Spring 2014.
Tammy Mac has no problem identifying her early role model. It was the person who kept her company, taught her, and brought her to VSU today.
Tammy is the VSU Intercollegiate Council Representative 2013-2014.
“I wish I knew the language”
Brian Lu spent a lot of time taking care of his grandmother when he was younger. The conversations, however, were usually no more than a mix of hand gestures.
Brian is a VSU Intern 2013-2014.
“Nobody understood me”
Henry Trinh speaks just one language — English — but that didn’t mean he was understood. Here he reflects on his experience with an early speech impediment and describes his relationship with his twin brother.
Henry is the VSU Political Advocacy Coordinator 2013-2014.
“I was very confused about my identity”
Jesse Cao credits his experience in VSU and at UCLA for developing his skills to talk and discuss about issues, a far change from the type of person he was in high school.
Jesse is a VSU Family Head 2013-2014.
“I have to be that in-between person”
Evelyn Tran is the middle of three children who immigrated to the U.S. when they were young. Assimilation disparities in her family has left her as the bridge between two cultures.
Evelyn was the VSU Outreach Coordinator for Fall 2013 and serves as the VSU Internal Vice President for Winter and Spring 2014.
“Everyone knows me for my laugh”
Hoang Vuong has the special distinction of “the laughing guy.” He explains how this came to be, and why his positive attitude has helped him grow as a person.
Hoang is the VSU External Vice President for Winter and Spring 2014.