Outstanding VSA Member of the Year
Arizona State University
Questions and Answers
Why was this person selected as “Member of the Year” for your organization? What was the criteria to be a recipient of this award?
Crystal Vo is currently an incoming senior attending Arizona State University. She has been awarded with the New American Scholarship as a Provost’s Recipient and has been recognized on the Dean’s List. In the past, Crystal has been distinguished as the Southwest UVSA’s Diamond Scholar, awarded to first-time attendees who show interest in community engagement at Apex, and Funding A Mentor (FAM) Scholar, awarded to a Family Leader who displays leadership qualities with an emphasis on inspiring others to take initiative beyond Apex. Within the local community, Crystal has been a distinguished member of the Vietnamese community for volunteering at events such as the Lunar Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and other events that help increase awareness of challenges such as youth civic engagement.
As the Vietnamese population continues to grow, she remains passionate about service and leadership as she first entered college. Joining the executive board within the second month of her freshman year, she has never wavered from an opportunity to better her community with relevant cultural awareness topics and collaborations with other Asian-related organizations. As this previous ASU VSA’s Co-President, she hopes to continue her academic interests and create a safe environment for an educational platform for the next generation of leaders. She was recognized as Member of the Year at ASU VSA for her continuous dedication to ensuring that VSA creates an environment where students can learn about the Vietnamese culture and its traditions, regardless of their background. As she steps down from her Co- Presidency, she steps into her fourth year of college as SWUVSA’s External Vice President. Holding over 22+ VSA-related positions, she finds happiness in inspiring
others to become leaders within their respective communities and hopes to be the stepping stone for the youth to explore new horizons.
Describe the roles the nominee has held in his/her/their community and how these roles have influenced your organization. Provide examples.
During the past three years of her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, Crystal has acted as the Cultural Gala Director, Secretary, Family Director, Cultural Dance Team Founder and Choreographer, Asian/Asian Pacific American Students’ Coalition (AAPASC) representative and most recently Co-President. Furthermore, she is an incredibly active member within the SWUVSA region as she has participated as a Family Leader (Apex-4), Workshop Presenter and part of the Family Committee for Apex-5. Her passion for her region and love for school has led her to recently being inaugurated as SWUVSA’s External Vice President – serving as the first ASU representative on regional eboard.
Her role within ASU VSA has resulted in unprecedented accomplishments and remarkable ideas coming to fruition this past year. Her unwavering determination has pushed ASU VSA to new heights as she introduced the largest officer team, the most amount of general members (80+), continuous enriching cultural initiatives (word of the week, dance team, family system, etc), and encouraged members to step out of their comfort zone and register for Apex-5 – resulting in a 1/3 of the attendees from ASU. She hopes to introduce her qualities of compassion, strong work ethic, and most importantly self-care in her role as SWUVSA External Vice President to encourage the region to network and develop meaningful connections from all across the country.
Within the UNAVSA sphere, she was introduced into the community as she stepped up to apply to be a Family Leader for the first virtual conference and to UNAVSA CPP Fellowship Program. Being part of the Kids Without Borders cohort, she has gained such insight on the inner-workings of how the organization has helped adoptees trace their Vietnamese roots. Crystal has expressed this fellowship being such an humbling experience and would like to continue to advocate for more of these causes initiated by many of UNAVSA’s previous and future CPP.
What qualities does the nominee have that makes him/her/them stand out within your organization? Provide examples.
With confidence, Crystal’s passion for community service and cultural awareness is not confined to any boundaries as she continues to be involved in the local greater Vietnamese community, continues to volunteer at cultural events and is a leader-in- training at her GDPT youth group, continues to provide a safe platform and community resources for her VSA officer team and her general members, hopes to create a stronger network for the Southwest UVSA region, and hopes to remain as an
active member within UNAVSA. Her work ethic and participation within her local ASU VSA community is reflected in her achievements as she helped organize the first Cultural Gala – winning most funds raised for CPP within SWUVSA, founded a cultural dance team that continues to be active, encouraged large-scale collaborations with local Vietnamese businesses to host a Pho King Challenge, raised initiatives to ensure members are participating in today’s challenges of what it means to be an Asian American, and continues to promote self-care and empathy within her officer team and general members to ensure equal participation and a safe place to share ideas. With this vision, she encourages her members to participate in other Southeast Asian organizations and fosters collaboration to ensure that her members are exposed to more than just VSA.
As passionate as she is about community, she recognizes that in order to make lasting changes, she has to educate the youth as she hopes to empower compassionate leaders who are selfless, culturally-orientated, and are not afraid to be the platform to tell the stories of those who may not have the resources to do so. Especially during times of turmoil, she aspires to further build a stronger Vietnamese community on campus where resources can be accessible and harder conversations can be held. In a previously passive locality, she is optimistic about creating a foundation for inspiring leaders who can make a difference in the future.