Our wonderful Workshop Coordinators Ngoc Nguyen, Vivian Pham, and Tram Ha were in charge of overseeing our team of workshop facilitators to create insightful and engaging workshops for SEA Admit!
Workshop Coord || Pomona, CA | 2nd Year | International Development Studies Hi! I am Workshop Coordinator for this year’s SEA Admit! As a first generation college student, it was a scary experience for me to come to UCLA. However, UCLA ended up giving me a new family who always will support me no matter what. This is what inspired me to participate in this year’s SEA Admit! I am excited to meet everyone and introduce ya all to the community here at UCLA! Aside from my involvement with SEA Admit, I am also the External Vice President of the Vietnamese Student Union and currently working at the Community Program Office and the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. I am really excited to meet ya all! Please feel free to reach out to me anytime!
Workshop Coord || Yorba Linda, CA | 4th Year | Communications and Linguistics Major I didn’t know I was Southeast Asian for the first 18 years of my life. Big deal, right? I mean, why does it matter if you’re part of a collection of countries that call themselves “Southeast Asia”?
But not being aware of your identity, not because of apathy, but because your story is so wrapped up in pain, in trauma, in hope, in perseverance—that is an entirely different story.
If you’re Southeast Asian, chances are that the story of your identity isn’t just a cute story of your grandparents moving to a different country. Chances are, it involved war. persecution. oppression. And having no choice but to abandon the place you call home.
It was like a missing piece. Something I was always sorta aware of, but could never put words to.
SEA Admit gave me those words. It started me on a journey to reclaim my identity. It gave me a place to start from, so that I didn’t feel so overwhelmed, so lost, so isolated. It opened my eyes to a community around me made up of people with shared experiences, and if not that, then people with the compassion, understanding, and patience to listen to my unique tales.
It’s an ongoing process, for sure, discovering the ways in which my roots have shaped my identity, but I’ll always remember with fondness and gratitude the place where I first learned the words “Southeast Asian.”
Workshop || Garden Grove, CA | 3rd year | Biology Major
Having lived in the beautiful ethnic enclave of Orange County, I thought I already knew all there was to know about being Southeast Asian. Surrounded by people like me in school and delicious Asian food at local restaurants, I often took my Vietnamese heritage for granted. Coming to SEA Admit, I initially just expected to explore the campus and learn more about the resources at UCLA. This program, however, exceeded every expectation I had. It challenged me to reflect on my Southeast Asian identity and really understand the different ways it impacts my life and the lives of those around me. At SEA Admit, I gained in-depth knowledge about the SEA history of oppression, the refugee experience, and the community conditions – unraveling the hidden stories that my parents wished to protect me from. Thanks to SEA Admit, I learned to open up about my personal narrative, gained a support system of friends at UCLA, and ate delicious dining hall food! This year, I wanted to return to SEA Admit as a staff member to not only give back to the amazing program that made me fell in love with UCLA in the first place, but also to make it an even better, more impactful experience for our baby Bruins!