Meet Brian Nguyen
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Alma Mater: Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine
Occupation: Full-Time Student
Favorite Color: I don't have one
Dream Destination: New Zealand
Advice: Learn to be able to consider perspectives that are contrary to your own and maintain a student's mentality.
I was introduced to community service at a very young age. My mother would carry me around as a toddler while she and the rest of my family rallied and protested for their political beliefs. As a Buddhist, I was taught compassion and empathy throughout my life. When I grew older I took on leadership roles as a Buddhist scout in hopes of passing down the values and skills that I was taught growing up. I can attribute much of my life’s successes to experiences that were afforded to me by Gia Dinh Phat Tu. Just as Gia Dinh Phat Tu has always been an extended family to me, I have grown to view the community in the day way. I cherish the youth and the elderly and I hope to be able to provide them with tools and resources that will help them live full and wholesome lives.
NOVA stuck out to me because it’s mission aligned with my own interests and its members are very like myself - they are my peers. As a first-generation Vietnamese American, I am wedged between two generations that are, in my opinion, at a disconnect. I am fortunate to have been immersed in Vietnamese culture all my life and can speak the language more fluently than the majority of who were born here in the states. This has allowed me to understand the voices of older generations as well as my own and younger generations. Without a language/culture to tie 2 generations together, I believe there exists many among younger generations that find it hard to embody both Vietnamese culture/values and American culture. I hope that our contributions in the community through NOVA will help to inspire future community leaders and demonstrate that it is very possible to be both Vietnamese and American.
During my senior year of undergrad, I attended school at UCLA, was the president of a fraternity, lived in the penthouse of a mansion, and was next door to Mandy Moore’s agent. She isn’t nice. And no my parents had nothing to do with my finances.