Vietnamese American Youth Leadership Conference (VAYLC)
By: Jackie Bong-Wright
Mimi Nguyen of AASuccess has this to say of the 12th annual conference on Vietnamese American Youth Leadership. “The objective is to educate students on government and community issues, and to get them to start thinking about their future in terms of giving back and political careers. From what I have seen, they are good at getting quality speakers.” Delegate Mark Keam, Victor Nguyen-Long, a marketing expert at Nike, and Ham Tran, the movie director of Vuot Song, have already committed to speak.
The conference will take place at George Mason University campus in Arlington, Virginia on June 24-26. It will be co-sponsored by the National Congress of Vietnamese American (Nguyen Ngoc Bich, President) and the Mid-Atlantic Union of Vietnamese Student Association (Long Nguyen, President ). It also enjoys the support of the Voice of Vietnamese American (Genie Giao, President; AASuccess (Dave Nguyen, President); the Vietnamese Boy Scout Movement (Vo Tanh Nhan, President); the Vietnamese American Voters Association (Jackie Bong-Wright, President); SBTN-DC Television (Van Anh); the Vietnamese American TV (Kieu Thu), and State Farm Insurance (Anh Nguyen).
The Conference’s objective is to train young Vietnamese Americans in leadership skills such as self-confidence, good personal financial management, networking, teamwork and knowledge of the executive, legislative and judicial systems. Significant workshops led by field experts on the census, redistricting, branding and marketing as well as human trafficking, community service, and “cool careers” will be discussed.
A number of young people between 17 and 23, from out of state, have already signed up to attend a conference that they believe will be exciting. While in Washington, they will also have the opportunity to address issues of importance with officials at the Department of State and legislators on the Hill. To top the event, a gala dinner at Harvest Moon restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, will highlight traditional and folk performers, a modern Argentina tango demonstration by a Vietnamese high school couple, and Michael Jackson’s songs and dances.