Intern Spotlight: Van Nguyen
The Education and Outreach team at Asia Society Texas Center promotes global competency and student engagement through our high school internship program. Through the year-long program, teens collaborate on projects aligned with their backgrounds, interests, and talents. Interns learn more about Asian art, history, and culture while gaining direct experience in working with students and families.
This month, we're shining a spotlight on intern Van Nguyen. Van started her internship journey with us as a high school senior at the Houston Academy for International Studies. She brought much energy, passion, and enthusiasm to her work, designing lesson plans, co-facilitating student workshops, and contributing to multiple projects.
Van's main project involved collaborating with other interns to create the framework for a youth council. Working closely with Asia Society staff and other interns, Van helped launch the Asia Society Texas Center Teen Council in April 2020. The cohort of teens will engage in year-round programming designed to uplift and amplify student voices representing the diversity of Houston. Throughout the program, teens will learn about diverse cultures, develop cross-cultural communication skills, and build global competency. As she begins her freshman year of college at Bryn Mawr College, Van will continue to intern with Asia Society to help facilitate the Teen Council.
Learn a little more about Van below!
Hi everyone my name is Van Nguyen! I am a current freshman at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Although I am very far from home, I am still actively working with the Asia Society Texas Center! My experience with ASTC started my freshman year of high school through school tours and workshops, then I started as an intern during my senior year. As a first-generation Vietnamese American, I wanted to see more of an Asian American perspective.
Throughout my time working at the Center I was given the opportunity to help introduce Asian American voices and content through our partnership with Crushing the Myth. I was also given the opportunity to educate students on Asian culture in general through at home lesson plans on different Asian countries. I am also one of the co-developers and the facilitator of our Teen Council, Next Generation which is centered around giving youth in Houston a safe space to discuss identity and have cross-cultural conversations.
With every new project, I am learning tremendously. I have had prior experience with coordinating events, however, with the scale and quality that Asia Society produces there were always moments to learn from. Managing volunteers and establishing clear and concise communication is one very important lesson that I learned the hard way. Creating engaging material for students was also another challenge, but as a student myself I took into consideration all of the aspects that made me love learning and tried to implement them in a way that was accessible to all.
As for the Teen Council, I started off rocky and unsure of myself. As time passed, I came to understand my role within the group and I am still experimenting and learning facilitation skills with every meeting. No matter what obstacle I was faced with, I came to the office ready to take on anything. With the support that Asia Society has given me I strive to do better every day and cannot wait to help showcase the amazing content we’re constantly building and growing.
Major support for Education & Outreach programs at Asia Society Texas Center comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc., and The Houston Endowment. Additional funding is also provided by the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, as well as through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.