Volunteer feature spotlight – Meet Quang Duong


Hello friends!

We think that it’s important for you to know what happens to your donations.

We believe that you should have peace of mind when you donate to VietHope. That’s why we want you to meet our team of volunteers and leaders who help make sure that your donations go straight to the students who need it the most.

Our second spotlight is our fearless leader, Quang. Quang’s job as president is to oversee volunteer efforts and make sure that your donations go straight to the students who need it most. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself

I grew up in Saigon and moved to America after high school for college. I graduated from Harvard and then completed my PhD in Computer Science at Univ. of Michigan, during which I started becoming involved with VietHope. After graduation, I moved to San Francisco, where I currently work and reside. For the past few years I have been enjoying building new products for Google Maps that helps users navigate the world.

 

How did you become involved with VietHope?

I learned about VietHope from my Harvard college classmate, Oanh Nguyen, who is one of VietHope’s founders. Oanh arranged for me to meet with Xuan Nguyen, our first volunteer in Vietnam, in Saigon, and our university scholarship recipients in 2007. That meeting completely made up my mind about volunteering for VietHope: I loved the volunteers’ passion and sincerity, the students’ incredibly strong will against hardship, and most of all, the organization’s mission of providing education to underprivileged students. I began reviewing university scholarship program applications that year, a process that brought me a great amount of empathy and understanding for the students VietHope served.

 

Why do you give your time/money to VietHope? How do you ensure that donations do the most good?

VietHope is committed to giving all fundraised money to students and leveraging our strong and professional volunteer network. As a Vice President and then President of VietHope for the last 5 years, this mission and commitment has been my top priority.

By carefully growing our endowment, we were able to build our professional staff in Vietnam, who spent many hours each week running several scholarship and education programs and managing more than 50 volunteers in 3 regions. Our highly-skilled and motivated staff and volunteers, as well as our result-driven focus, make VietHope one of only a few non-profits in Vietnam that actively and frequently measure and monitor our impact.

Furthermore, VietHope’s mission and operating model tend to attract like-minded volunteers, whose lasting friendship I highly treasure. We call ourselves the VietHope family.

 

What is your favorite memory of VietHope?

Sharing family stories, hopes, and fears with the VietHope family at our annual staff retreats.

I feel reinvigorated every spring when I attend our annual staff retreats in America. Volunteers in America not only have few direct interactions with the students, but we also live far away from one another across the country. Even though we rarely see one another, we all feel like a big family. Our reunions are filled with fun, laughter, tears, and passionate discussions and debates about VietHope’s future.

Quang Duong made a speech in USP award ceremony in Saigon in 2012