The American School – Service in Action
By Ms. Karen Jacobi – College & Guidance Counselor
Community service is an important aspect of the learning community at The American School of Vietnam. By working together with charities and community organizations, students expand their view of themselves and the world while making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Danny Tran is a 2018 graduate and an outstanding example of selfless giving. Danny took over the responsibilities of leading the campus chapter of Walking Hope this past year. Walking Hope was started in 2012 by Yen Khe Nguyen, a 2017 TAS graduate. The focus of the organization is to give hope to mentally and physically disabled individuals in Ho Chi Minh City, many of whom are confined to beds or wheelchairs.
Student volunteers give up their time on Saturday mornings to visit the Go Vap and Thien Phuoc Orphanages where they bring brighten the lives of children whose contact with the outside world is limited. On a typical Saturday, Danny and other volunteers play with, talk to and feed the children. Danny says that he has come to know and appreciate these children but at first it was a little scary to interact with them because they live under such difficult and different circumstances. Danny has been at this so long that now the biggest obstacle is getting up on a Saturday morning. He says that working with the children makes him appreciate all of the advantages that he has and helps him realize the importance of giving. Danny says of his experience, “In a society, there are many types of people, but at the core we are all the same in our humanity”.
Many of the active members of Walking Hope are also graduating this year. Danny is almost always accompanied on Saturdays by seniors Flora Ha, Nicky Pham, Kelly Kang and Andara Tran. New student leaders who are willing to give up their free time on the weekend will be needed to keep the group going strong on our campus next year.
This August, Danny will be attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He chose Baylor in part because of the emphasis that the university places on community service. Danny will be able to continue his service to others in the United States and will represent Vietnam well. Here at TAS, we are all very proud of Danny who will be spreading love and goodwill halfway around the globe.