Promise Fellow Week Alumni Spotlight: Bao Vue
April 3, 2018
Bao Vue served at Lincoln International High School in 2014-2015.
She says of her Promise Fellow service, “there are many aspects of my Promise Fellow experience that I found impactful. One part that I remember vividly was an afterschool girls club that I helped create and facilitate at my host site, Lincoln International high school. Lincoln is a small school filled with students who were immigrants and refugees from east Africa and Latin America. As I observed, the girls at Lincoln were fierce, independent, strong, and did not stand for any inequities. I felt the energy of these girls and knew that it needed a space to be released. So with the help from a few female teachers, we created a club exclusively for girls to do just that: express herself in whatever ways. We brought in speakers to talk about cosmetics, careers, modeling, and self-image. They felt entitled and led the way for how they want to be viewed at school and in their community. I remember facilitating a session and one girl stood up and took initiative to run the session due to her experience. I loved it because it showed me that we have created a platform of empowerment and voice, and the girls ran with this. I am reminded that as an adult I do not need to control or impose my ideas at all times–that young people can be empowered to lead the way if given the right tools. For the girls at Lincoln, it was a safe and brave space to use voice and girl power. It was moments like these that makes my service worthwhile and unforgettable.”
Boa says she greatly appreciated the professional development that AmeriCorps provided. “I came to understand that my perspective is unique along with so many other perspectives and this is important because it helps us to better work, engage, and communicate with community members to provide the best service/product/knowledge for their needs. In understanding this, I need to continue to learn and find better ways to do that–it can be taking advantage of trainings, creating and listening to conversations, or networking with community partners. It can be challenging and exhausting at times engaging in these different forms of professional development, but what I’ve experienced outweighs the uncomfort of the moment. This is my way to give the best of myself to my community.”
Bao is currently exploring both new and old interests, and continues to develop herself professionally. Bao recently became the Program Associate at EdAllies. She hopes that her work focused on education policy will teach her how to be responsively engaged at the policy level and give voice to those who are most underserved in MN’s education system. “I have grown to this new height and hope that this path can be an example of growth to my students; and that it continues even after many years in school.”
Bao recently enrolled in a year-long professional development opportunity with New Sector and is pursuing her personal interest in film production through a nonprofit organization called In Progress. “More than just a childhood interest, film has always been my safe avenue for me to express my thoughts, ideas, and feelings. This became the right moment for me to explore it in depth because it aligns with my own goals of growth and my organization’s goal of utilizing different tactics engage our audience.”
What does she love about AmeriCorps? “AmeriCorps loops you around back to the root, which is the community.”