Garden Grove – a diverse city, full of unique cultures. The Vietnamese community is just one of those many cultural elements that make up our home. The Vietnamese Student Association, also known as VSA, is a club on campus dedicated to promoting and spreading Vietnamese culture. The regional organization, founded in 1982, was built on the purpose of acting as a unified voice for Vietnamese-American youth in high schools and colleges around Southern California.
At GGHS, VSA has been going strong for 5 years and is continuing to grow in member size. Michelle Huynh (12), the current president of VSA, has been a part of the club for four of those years. The rest of the cabinet consists of Co-Vice Presidents Sandra Ninh (11) and Angeline Nguyen (10), Treasurer Kristine Tran (11), Secretary Minhnhu Tran (11), Project Chair Tran Tran (12), and ICC Representative Tu Nguyen (9). The club currently meets up biweekly in P4 on Monday’s during lunch to discuss future plans and activities.
“This club brings the opportunity to become more culturally aware”, says Michelle Huynh, adding that, “volunteering at community service events, attending trips to colleges and learning more about the Vietnamese culture shows that we are proud of who we are.” VSA has participated in International Week at GGHS and plans to do so again this year alongside other events such as the annual Tet Festival this February 16-18. Tet is a widely celebrated holiday in Vietnamese culture where people get together to celebrate the Lunar New Year and partake in eating moon cakes and dressing up in traditional “áo dài”, which literally translates to long shirts. The regional Vietnamese Student Association hosts the Tet Festival every year at the OC Fair & Event Center, where students come out to volunteer and help out with the festivities and rides. Another important event coming up is the Culture Night Performance on April 20th! The performance will showcase acts such as skits, singing, and dancing, just to name a few. VSA encourages everyone to come out and see all the talented people here at GGHS.
Angeline Nguyen, the vice president of GGHS VSA remarks,”VSA has gotten me to be more involved with the community because I’ve been able to interact with others who either share the same culture as me, or would like to learn more about it.” She was a bit reluctant about fitting into the club at first, but Angeline goes on to say that, “spending time with the members has brought a lot of joy into [her] life.” She and Michelle encourage others to join VSA for the opportunities it offers once applications open up again during the next club rush. The club itself is continuing to grow each year, and the board is excited to accept newly qualified applicants. To wrap it all up, Michelle states,“Spread the love for Vietnamese culture! Everyone is welcomed to join, Vietnamese or not! The more the merrier!”