Our 2017 team will be traveling, living and working in Vietnam with our students between July 6th - 28th, 2017. Your support enables our team to make a difference in the lives of children and teachers in Vietnam every year.
University: Columbia University
PhD Candidate for Applied Linguistics
M.A. TESOL, CUNY Hunter College
B.A. Government, The University of Texas at Austin
I grew up in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin where I received my bachelor's degree in Government with a minor in Psychology. After graduating college I traveled to Israel to live, study, and volunteer for six months. During that time I taught the English language and learned about the culture and diversity within Israel. Later, I attended CUNY Hunter College where I received a master's degree in TESOL and taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade ESL at a pubic middle school in New York City. Now I am currently teaching 2nd grade at a public Dual Language Elementary School in Houston, Texas. I am interested in learning about different cultures and understanding education from another point of view. I believe teaching English in Vietnam is a great way to learn about the people, language, and culture. The Vietnam Education Project is a great way to bridge the gap between cultures and share learning and teaching practices in a collaborative educational environment.
My interests and hobbies include traveling, photography, and writing.
San Jose State University
Multiple Subject Credential
I was born and raised in San Jose, California and went to San Jose State University where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and minored in Child and Adolescent Development. Becoming a teacher has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl but this was not a career my family encouraged. In addition to working full time in hospitality I was also volunteering at elementary schools, coaching basketball at the YMCA and Wheels on Fire, and tutoring. This love for teaching and children never changed and I eventually decided to change my career path in hospitality management to pursue a career in education. Eventually, I became a founding teacher at Rocketship Brilliant Minds and have taught Kindergarten Humanities and Math for 5 years. This coming fall, I will continue to teach half time while transitioning to an instructional coaching role.
Going back to serve a community in Vietnam will allow for me to reconnect with my roots and to give back to the country that raised my parents. Joining this program will allow for me to provide these children with learning opportunities to explore new areas of knowledge, trigger hidden passions, and to encourage them to take these opportunities. I will be incredibly lucky to not only have the opportunity to be immersed in their lives but to also learn so much from them.
Some of my interests outside of teaching include traveling, crafting, lettering, and hiking.
Major: English Teacher Education
I was also lucky to be able to meet and work with awesome and dedicated teachers and fellow. They were so nice and helpful. I learned a lot from them, especially about teaching and cross-cultural experiences. It’s a pity that not all of us will come back to the program this year. I’ve missed them so much and I hope that one day all of us will have a chance to meet up with each other. I’ve also missed the time chatting with our super nice and helpful coordinators who gave us a lot of support and encouragement. Without their help, VNEP 2016 would not have been that successful.
Phuong Thao Nguyen
Major: English Translation and Interpretation
Since I attended university, I have taken part in many volunteer activities. I used to teach English for street children at Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. I realized that any child, from whatever class in the society, has their own potentials, abilities, and dreams. By teaching them English, I can help them get closer to their goals. Witnessing their day-by-day progress really makes me moved and drives me to continue teaching English to other children.
When I was selected to join VNEP project, I felt very happy. I am very eager to see children in Quynh Thanh, Nghe An. I believe that some of them have dreams of traveling to many places in the world or discovering many new cultures. Hopefully, I can contribute a small part to help them fulfill their desire. I understand that it is hard to convey a lot of knowledge within 3 weeks of the project. So what I really focus is how to bring great motivation of learning English to children in Quynh Thanh so that they will continue study English well after the project team leaves. I hope that wherever they go to in the future, they can introduce confidently about themselves, about their fellows and about their homeland – Vietnam.
Thu Hien Phan
Major: English Teacher Education