TEACH FOR VIETNAM'S FELLOWS
THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP 2017 - 2019
It seems that lots of people talking about education reformation, revolution and so on but not so many of them roll up their sleeves or look for a path to make it happen. I believe “every great change in the world happened because there is someone truly want it, learn it and do his best to make it happen”. It is truly wonderful to be a part of Teach For Vietnam where many people who also have the same desire “a better quality education” gather. With many stakeholder to collaborate ahead: local government, schools, teachers and students, … we know we are not the alone in this path.Thao Nguyen graduated from Foreign Trade University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Economics. After graduation, she was selected to join the Management Trainee program of a big FMCG firm in Vietnam. After the training period, she worked as a Trade Marketing Assistant to Manager in Beer category. But she quit her job few months later. In terms of business, increasing beer sales was the ultimate goal. But persuading people to consume more beer, especially the poor, is against her personal value system. To Thao, all kinds of problems in this world are man-made. People take actions according to what they believe. And education is the key to shape one’s vision and belief. Unfortunately, in Vietnam, education is still not equal for everyone. Before joining Teach For Vietnam in 2017, Thao Nguyen worked for a leading EdTech startup in Vietnam. During her journey with this startup, she contributed to the mission of spreading knowledge to improve lives of millions of Vietnamese adults. However, she was not satisfied with this goal. She believes that providing good education products and services for office workers can only solve the education problem on a surface level. The key to build a generation of globally competent leaders is to help every child reach his/her full potential. So she decided to join Teach For Vietnam and be a part of the revolution.Believing in children as our hope, and education as the golden key for a prosperous and sustainable future, Pham Thuy Duong is greatly motivated by Teach for Vietnam’s mission, visions and values. Happy to be part of the nice team of like-minded people and with a strong aspiration to serve, Duong is committed to realizing Teach For Vietnam’s visions. Majoring in environmental studies with bachelor degree at HCMC University of Technology, she received MSc in environmental management from Brandenburg Technical University, MSc in urban development planning from Vietnamese-German University, and PhD from Lappeenranta University of Technology. Before joining Teach For Vietnam, Duong worked as technical officer for GIZ Soc Trang project and a coordinator at Vietnamese-German University. Duong’s interests include holistic education, sustainable development, green living, renewable energy, spiritual development, esoteric studies, alternative healing, psychology and astrology.Dung’s passion for education derives from her educational experience. She herself experienced challenges of an underprivileged student studying English at a small town in a highland of Vietnam and soon recognized that all along this small country, there still exist students who are in the shoes that she used to be in. She acknowledged how hard it would be for a student, with a few opportunities, to reach out the wonderful world in front of them. That was when she decided to devote herself in the field of education. Dung is an B.A. holder in English teaching and Literature accredited by University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh National University. As an educator, she believes in the potential of every child and that they deserve an education of excellence and equity. Soon after her graduation, she joined Teach for Vietnam with a hope to help underprivileged students get access to learning resources and opportunities. During two years to come at Teach for Vietnam, she commits to help her students unlock their potential. In her way of doing so, she also aims to unlock the potential of herself in giving a hand to create a new movement in the current education system.I always believe in kids’ potential and teachers are people who can help them nurture these positive seeds in their head and their heart. Working as a Fellow for Teach for Vietnam offers me a chance to find out what my students are good at, or what they care about, or what they like and unleash their own potential because I believe it can help them change their life.Although Uyen went to Nong Lam University to study a food science, teaching English is the second most recommended job for her (The first was masseur, because she had soft, chubby hands and her personality was generally tolerable.) She enjoyed helping her peers with exams and tutoring English as a part-time job, but she never thought she would have the chance to actually lead a classroom, until Teach For Vietnam. The empowering ways the disabled and disadvantaged were treated in Canada where Uyen had her Mitacs internship during senior year planted a seed of doubt in her mind about how to go about doing good things for people. She began to question the path drawn for her as a researcher: working at a university, asking for grant to fix a small technical problem, publishing the results in a professional journal for a small circle of experts to read. It was not the kind of impact she wanted, Uyen found. She became interested in human beings, their inner lives and how they are shaped by the outside world. It was after reading, watching and learning about social sciences that Uyen began to realize how complex and nuanced the situation of the world and the depth of poverty and injustice were. She wanted to do something, but did not know where to start. As an engineer doomed to work on ketchup and instant noodle, she had the “wrong” degree. That was when Uyen read about Teach For Vietnam, and for once, she believed in fate. She thought about all the sweeter, nicer, more intelligent friends she knew as a pupil, those thrown under the bus because they did not fit into the system, and could not imagine being anywhere else. She was meant to be a masseur, not a teacher, but Uyen – like everyone else in this young organization – believes children are worth the efforts.His parents passed away when he was a baby. Le Hoang Phong was raised in S.O.S Children Village. In the year 2011, he studied Faculty of History at Ho Chi Minh University of Pedagogy with a view to learning more about civilisations and humanities. Through 4 years of studying there, Hoang Phong has become aware of the impact of education and the inevitable role of teachers when it comes to laying the foundations for the future of students. In addition, he also realises the importance of foreign languages, which is the key to integrating into the outer world. Hoang Phong has the experience of translating and interpreting for many renowned organisations, such as VCCI, World Bank, UNDP, UNFPA, DTRA, HIS. With an outstanding academic record, he received Odon Vallet Scholarship, Vietnam Association for Promoting Education’s Scholarship and Certificate of Appreciation from U.S Department of Defense. Hoang Phong is the first person in Vietnam to be admitted into Master of Educational Leadership from the University of Malaysia, which comes #1 in terms of teaching quality. Talking about choices, he said: “Leadership spirit in education will benefit a lot of generations of students through initiatives and the connection with a wide range of areas, occupations from different levels, both in the education sector and other sectors, while sharing the same goals towards education and creating a comprehensive foundation for an environment that assist education. In June 2017, Hoang Phong decided to return to Vietnam to participate in Development Leadership Fellowship program by Teach for Vietnam to make his dream a reality. With his will to give underprivileged students access to quality education, Hoang Phong always devotes his time to talk with children from S.O.S in conversations in English and guide them through hardships in life. His hobby is reading history books and travelling to gain insights into other cultures. By 2016, he has visited 10 countries and befriended with a number of international friends.Growing up in a farmer family in a small, poor village, Thuyet understands the feeling of the disadvantaged who often does not have access to a quality education. She majored in Chemitry Pedagogy at Can Tho University on goverment’s financial support. After graduation, Thuyet became a chemistry teacher at Vinh Chau, Soc Trang Province, her hometown. She was selected to receive a 5 day training scholarship at Huntsville, Alabama, US on STEM subjects in 2015, and in 2016 about environment, energy and sustainability in San Diego, US. She truly believes in the powerful impact that education has on someone’s life. Therefore, she would like to do something for children that do not have the same opportunity like she did, helping them gaining what they need to thrive, to be able to build the life that they dream of. With Teach For Vietnam, she is proud to contribute a little piece of herself to bring an excellent and equity education for all children in this country.Trang Nguyen spent all of her childhood school time in Hai Phong, Vietnam. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English Teaching from the University of Languages and International Studies – Vietnam National University, Hanoi. While she was an undergraduate student, she had been a teacher assistant at British Council and Apollo English Center for two years. After her graduation, she joined the International School of Vietnam (ISV) as a teacher assistant. At ISV, she was trained to be an International Baccalaureate (IB) teacher and exposed to a new English teaching module. She realized that the IB teaching methodologies being inquiry – based and the new English module motivate critical thinking skills and taking intitiative skills. These are the skills Vietnamese students still do not master. Therefore, she took initiative and applied the fresh module and method to set up an English Teaching and Learning Club for the impoverished children in Long Bien district, Ha Noi. These children do not access to proper schooling, housing or health care. Moreover, she paid it forward by training the Club’s volunteers the knowledge so they could be leading trainers to other people. Nowadays, the children in the Club can decode English words independently and use the pictures as some clues to read illustrated books critically. The current volunteers can instruct new volunteers how to teach critically and initiatively. In the Club, one day she talked to an elderly couple selling seafood at midnight to send their grandchildren to school. Reflecting to her school life, she was lucky to attend the best public schools due to her family conditions. She realized that children are so vulnerable that they depend on their schools and families. As a teacher, she cannot change their family background. However, she can bring them a better education. With this vision, it is her honour to join Teach For Vietnam and continue fighting for equity in education.Trang studied at Ho Chi Minh City University of Science, major in Biotechnology. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in 2013 and Master of Science degree (MSc) in 2016. Soon after she graduated in 2013, she worked as a Researcher and Teaching Assistant at Department of Physiology and Animal Biotechnology, Ho Chi Minh City University of Science. She also has almost 6 years of experience working as a Freelance English Teacher. Having travelled many places in Vietnam, witnessed the poverty and low quality of education of so many children in the community, Trang understands that without access to good education, children are unable to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Trang wants to really make difference in children’s lives, therefore, she joined the movement with Teach For Vietnam. She hopes that she can contribute to the cause of excellent education for all children. Her dream is that “there might be a day a kid discovers his biggest passion while learning in her classroom.Hang has been experiencing various educational environments from rural schools to urban schools and later international schools. With her experiences, she believes in the impact of education with equity and excellence that can bring development and innovation from the individual scale to the public scale. Recently, Hang is working in Playback Theatre. She uses the techniques of Playback Theatre to discover how each individual feels and thinks. She believes that the language of Theatre can educate people in the sense of understanding themselves and understanding the society that they are living in. While taking part in the opening ceremony of Human Rights Space in Hanoi, Hang realized that education can be approached by numerous ways and the Theatre approach can also be an effective one. With her passion for discovering the Self and the Others, Hang decided to engage in education because she has a strong belief in its roles in enabling people to become a better version of themselves and a good member of society.For me, joining Teach for Vietnam is one way of paying tribute to my teachers and all who have helped shape me into the person I am today. I have been taught, and it is my turn to give back. I believe even in the most unfavorable of conditions, every child is a seed of goodness and wonder. I love being around the little ones, and it’s a gift to contribute a small part in nurturing the good seeds for our country. We have a lot of work to do, and I am thankful to be part of TFV team on our shared journey, joyfully, together. Thao Phuong Hoang was born in Soc Son, Hanoi, where she spent her happy childhood years in a small village school. She did not expect then that she would later join classrooms in countries around the world for her education. When Thao first learned about Teach For Vietnam (TFV), she knew right away that joining the movement would be a wonderful way to return to her home country after several years of educational pursuit abroad. Thao holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Economics and French Studies from Wheaton College, Massachusetts, as well as a Masters in Human Geography with a collaborative program on Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto. While Thao’s years abroad allowed her to expand her horizons, she always sought and cherished opportunities in Vietnam. For her graduate studies, Thao conducted an original climate change research project in Ninh Binh Province, as part of the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership funded by the Canadian government. She also worked with different non-profit organizations on various issues: fair trade, urban agriculture and water management. Thao believes in grassroots movements, and the inherent goodness to be nurtured in every child, every person. She believes education is key to getting to the root causes of many problems. With TFV, Thao is happy to join a team effort to expand educational opportunities to all children in Vietnam.Growing up in a family full of teachers, Phuong has always been reminded of the value of education and the idea of how education changes lives. With her passion in the education field, Phuong joined different volunteer programs to give free English lessons to the suburban children near her hometown Hanoi and realized the huge gap in education opportunity among the children living in different areas in the same country. Yearning to close this gap and to bring equal education opportunity to all children in Vietnam, Phuong decided to join Teach For Vietnam along with the other fellows. After graduating with a dual degree in Business Economics and Marketing from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania, Phuong worked at Nielsen Vietnam as a Qualitative Research Trainee. She also taught at Yola Institute to pursue her passion for language education.Linh has a strong belief in children’s potential and desire for being beside people and encouraging them to believe in themselves. As a result, Linh finds Social Work a suitable way for her to make it come true. Indeed, she has graduated as a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Social Sciences and Humanities. She has worked as a social worker for two years before she becomes a fellow of Teach For Vietnam. During the time as a social worker working at two NGOs, she focused on facilitating children facing to challenges of needs from basic ones to sense of recognition and belonging. She has realized that there are challenges that she cannot help children overcome successfully. There is something like a gap between teachers and pupils, schools and families, and schools and communities. She really wants to find out ways to build bridge between and narrow as many gaps as possible. She has a clue that she is a social worker and she needs to find the answer from the children, their families, their schools, and their communities. Fortunately, Leadership Development Fellowship of Teach For Vietnam is such a valuable chance for her to explore school environment directly and she even can stand in a teacher’s shoes. But, more than that, it is the effort to contribute to a better education for children that put her on the same way with Teach For Vietnam. Hence, here is Linh, being in Teach For Vietnam team, trying her best to empower herself and to empower children to fulfill their potential and find happiness from school life. Let’s see what will happen and what Linh will discover!
THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP 2018 - 2020
Teaching has always been Trang’s most desirable job ever since her childhood. Majoring in English Teacher Education at Can Tho University, she became a teacher at a language center after graduation. Trang chose education as the way to benefit as many children as she can, Trang strongly believes in the great potential of every child and the impact of excellent education on their lives. With Teach For Vietnam, she now has no doubt that her work would make positive changes to others, and her life becomes much more meaningful. Being highly motivated by Teach For Vietnam’s mission, visions, and values, she also feels grateful to be surrounded by nice, compatible and inspiring people who make her feel like a part of this family. Outside of work, she loves cats, reading and cycling.Graduated with international economic bachelor degree from Foreign Trade University, Nhật Anh started working as a Personal Assistant to General Manager in a five-star resort. She also ran a charitable restaurant to provide home and tuition for street children around Phu Quoc island in 2 years. Working with both upper class and laboring class at the same time, she soon saw inequality in several aspects of society. However, Nhật Anh found education inequality the most intolerable which led to her decision of joining Teach For Vietnam, after attaining TESOL certificate (accredited by Fort Hays State University, U.S). “I want to live, to learn, and to play with children every single day. I believe that everybody has their own story and my students will be able to tell their stories, inspiringly and proudly”.Growing up in a working-class family in the central of Vietnam, Tho always feels thankful for her parents’ decision to send her to school. She then became a teacher of English at the age of 21. With a Bachelor’s degree in English for Business (University of Finance and Marketing), she had never planned to be a teacher but teaching came to her at a very first step of her career path. She loves teaching as seeing the process of young people starting to become aware of their full potential is extremely rewarding. She believes that by joining Teach For Vietnam Fellowship, she will be equipped with knowledge and skills to proudly contribute to the vision of excellent education for all children in Vietnam.
Nhu has the strong belief that education has the strongest power to change the world and make it a better place for humankind. She has been working for AIESEC – an international association for almost 5 years. After graduating from University of Social Sciences and Humanities Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam National University with Bachelor of Arts, she continues working in AIESEC in Vietnam as the Vice President of Social Projects. From here, she had the chance to work with other non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations, especially education organizations, and learn from them the vision of a peaceful and developed world, which has contributed to the foundation of her belief. Therefore, she dreams to be a part of the movement changing the community and the world she is living in and supports other kids to complete their dream as well. She decided to join Teach for Vietnam to bring quality education to every single child in Vietnam because she knows every child has equal potential and opportunities to grow and to build the world.A graduate, majoring in New Media at the Communication University of China, wanted to see the world with her own eyes after being exposed to a diversity of cultures and beliefs, Thảo decided to embark on an odyssey. When she was working on an educational project in Ecuador, a question of why she was not doing something like this in her home country struck her. Joining Teach For Vietnam, she wants to become a “great teacher”, understanding that it is a constant struggle to always improve. “I’m a common girl with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monument dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’m gonna live a life full of adventures with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.”I graduated from Foreign Trade University majoring in International Trade. However, I found myself passionate about education and working with children during my last year at university and then started my career as a teacher. I worked at a bilingual preschool as curriculum coordinator and head teacher of a toddler class. 1.5 years there not only confirmed my calling to work for education reform but also helped me realize that I want to do something for those who are left behind. Therefore, I decided to join Teach For Vietnam, where I have chances to both continue teaching and work with communities in difficulties. Besides time for students, making lesson plans or thinking about making lesson plans, I enjoyed playing with colors, diving in music, reading book sometimes or just doing nothing among trees, sky and me. As a teacher, I’m seeking for growth. As a human, I’m seeking for balance.In 2017, graduating from the faculty of International Relations, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, I realized that I have been extremely passionate about children education. Although experiencing being an English teaching assistant and teacher for a few years, I was struggling to understand the insight of an equal, excellent education. In 2018, after making huge efforts to seek an educational project, I decided to be a part of an education project in Makassar, Indonesia. I taught the privileged kids in a kindergarten for 7 weeks. There I learned a lot about STEAM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, art, and maths). Traveling to some rural villages of Sulawesi island, I realized the huge gap in approaching an excellent education among the kids is not only existing in Vietnam but also over the world. My desire for nurturing the kids in terms of facilitating their potential and pursuing their dreams fiercely arose. Then, I kept looking for an educational non-profit organization in Vietnam with that mission. Fortunately, Teach For Vietnam appeared to shine my destination, giving me a sense of possibility. At this moment, I am so blissful to work with Teach For Vietnam staff and fellows as well to raise and deal with our concerns about education quality.Born and grown up in Hanoi, I soon had a chance to join voluntary work to teach English for poor children in the middle of the Red River since I was 16. Since then, the interest and desire of playing a part in helping to make life better for the poor people and the underprivileged children grow bigger and bigger in me. That why I chose to do Social work as my major with hope as Mr. Howard Zinn once says: “ Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”. The experiences of working and participation in the NGOs, Government organization, foreign-invested company in Vietnam provide me with the understanding of the current situation of the Vietnam society. Participating in Teach For Vietnam Fellowship programs, I not only can learn new knowledge, approach new methods in education but also share my experiences to build my community. Therefore, I strongly believe in a huge impact of this program to our community.I had almost 4 years of experience working as an English Tutor since I was in university. After graduating from Foreign Trade University, I had nearly 2 years of experience in both educational and business sectors. Eventually, I realized that teaching is a hugely impactful career path which I long to follow. There’s a conversation haunting me for long: “- Do you want to go to school with us, kids? – Go to school? Study? Oh, can it help me have rice or food? No, we have to help my parents with farming. And when growing older, my parents will help me to get married, it’s all my life.” This story happened in one of my field trips to the mountainous area in Northern Vietnam when I worked as a volunteer teacher 3 years ago. It was when my volunteer team came to students’ house to persuade them to attend our summer classes. That question has still lingered in my mind since then, and I want to help them put their trust in an equal and excellent education which can open new doors to their bigger world. Strongly believing in the vision of Teach For Vietnam, I confidently think that “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and “Small deeds can make a big difference”.For the past three years, I have taught English to hundreds of kids and teenagers in Ho Chi Minh city. In addition to English skills, my students have been equipped with soft skills, such as presentation, collaboration and communication, etc. They have become more confident while talking with foreigners. Having come back to Tay Ninh – my hometown, I have been passionate about teaching to children so that they can not only learn English, but also develop their growth mindset. Together with other Fellows, we are determined to make social impact to many people in rural area. I take reading books as my most favorite hobbies. I believe we learn a great deal of valuable things through books.I had worked in Education field for more than five years since I was a sophomore at National Economics University, Bachelor of Commercial Business Administration. During that period, I realized that either born with advantages or disadvantages, many Vietnamese children are marginalized. I still remembered there was a boy in my class whose father was a security guard for the building where I worked. One day, a classmate figured out about his father’s job and mocked him. The other boy pointed at his face and laughed: “Your father is just a security guard. You shouldn’t be here”. His inadvertently rude words woke me up to a fact: Schools in Vietnam provide children knowledge but fail to teach them kindness. My mind pondered how to raise the awareness of communities towards these facts and how to remove the stereotype that learning English and having access to modern teaching methods are privileges for children in urban areas. And that is the story of how I met Teach For Vietnam.
- MA in Arts Administration, Goldsmiths, University of London;
- Chevening scholarship awarded by UK Government, 2015;
- Former co-owner & general manager of Hanoi Grapevine, a not-for-profit website promoting arts and culture in Vietnam and supporting independent artists;
- Shifting her career from arts to education, Mien hopes to give underprivileged children alternative ways of thinking so that they understand life often provides more than just one option on how one lives it.
- Thanks to my parents, who always consider education as the priority, I have given many chances to not only pursue my academic career but also explore myself in different ways. I kept having a try on various fields till the day becoming a volunteer English tutor in a non-profit organization, where I had many valuable chances to work with children and teenagers, who have difficult diverse backgrounds and could not go to school as other peers. Two years in this position truly helps me realize the value of education as well as the impact of education on society. Education can definitely help every children find out their own potential no matter what their background is. Therefore, after graduating Master in Law from City University of London and having experience as a legal assistant, I decided to join Teach For Vietnam.
- I strongly believe that together with the other fellows, we could bring equal opportunity in education to all children in Vietnam.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Banking University of HCMC. The values of Teach For Vietnam are very close to what I dreamed of creating, as the teacher built a school of creativity and learning excitement at the end of the movie "Three Idiots." And the opportunity to become STEM fellow helps me step by step realizing that scene. Personally, I would like to grow up in my bravery, leadership skills and learn how to build an educational project that will make the foundation go further and contribute more value.Bachelor of Environmental Science, University of Natural Sciences, HCMC. Personally, a meaningful life when creating values for the community. Teach For Vietnam has been, and will always, create the values of consciousness, material and spirit of the young generation of Vietnam. So when I became STEM Fellow, it was me who made the meaning of my life.Bachelor of Arts in English, University of Social Sciences and Humanities. I believe in value in the work of dedication to the community. Become a Fellow of Teach For Vietnam, I have recognized these values more and more recognizing that this is a great opportunity to contribute, to influence and to improve myself every day. I believe in the power of education and believe that education is the best way to change, to make the world better. To be an educator always a dream and a great mission for myself. Because to me, just a little action, change a thought, a look or simply smile is successful.Bachelor of Biotechnology, University of Science HCMC. I believe education can make life better. All of us, though more or less, are likely to see the current problems in Vietnamese education today. But we do not have the courage or know how to step out of our own safety zone, to contribute to a better education. Become a Fellow of Teach For Vietnam, I want to break my own safety zone, from which I will find true joy in work and life. I hope to contribute a small part in the journey of changing education in Vietnam.Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Da Nang University of Education. Become a pedagogical student, participate in volunteer activities, go to places where education is extremely difficult, see the road to their daily school is too hard, listen to the their dreams. That experience reminded me how to bring about an equal education for all students, to create a sustainable education ecosystem where the students are delivered comprehensive development. Being a Fellow of Teach For Vietnam will help me realize my dream when it comes to the vision and mission of the organization. For me, youth will really mean when there is aspiration to follow, a place to give yourself all because "Youth does not have again".Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Food Industries, HCMC. I always want to contribute to the community through my expertise and ability. I find STEM to be a tool for me to contribute to the change of education in a new way. From there, I can influence and help students improve their thinking and learning methods.Bachelor of Automation, University of Technical Education HCMC. I like to experience, learn and share with others. I believe that the meaningful gift that can be given to others is knowledge. Going through the process of learning, working, daring to try and accepting mistakes will create meaningful gifts for yourself and those around. In education, I want to be a companion with students and guide students to help them develop their full potential. Teach For Vietnam is where I can cultivate that desire. Being a TFV Fellow gives me the opportunity to interact with students so that I and my students can learn from each other and strive to become knowledgeable and active contributors to our society.
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