When my grandfather, Dan Ho, had passed away, my aunt, a nun, approached me with a proposal. She told me of my grandfather's accomplishments and contributions in his home village, and how he sacrificed all of them to give his family new opportunities in America. She suggested that I could use my teaching background to help educate children in his home village as a way of paying it forward. I felt hesitant - I knew nothing of the people in the central north, nor did I feel I had the language skills or proper connections to teach there.
The idea led me to explore Vietnam, traveling from the south to the north to learn about my heritage and see what life was like in my grandfather's hometown. Upon arriving in his home village, I was saddened to see many schools were old and decrepit, and children were either out playing in the rice fields or working for their parents in small shops. I had the privilege of being raised in a first world country thanks to my grandfather's sacrifices, and I felt inspired to honor his contributions and help his former friends.
At that moment, I decided to begin developing this program to bring in teachers to Vietnam and help these children so that they may have new opportunities. In doing so, I hope to expose the children of the village to educational experiences outside of their school year and other cultures.