Placement: Office of the County Executive - Vietnamese American Service Center (VASC)
Educational Institution: San Jose State University
Throughout my summer fellowship with the Vietnamese American Service Center, I completed several projects to reduce health and social disparities in local communities. I supported the Senior Nutrition Program (SNP) transition to dine-in services, expanded outreach efforts for the Queer & Asian (QNA) Support Group, led the Government Fellowship Program’s (GFP) VASC site tour experience, and provided recommendations for the future development of youth programming.
During VASC’s first week of SNP dine-in and to-go with virtual interaction meal service, VASC received further insight into the community’s challenges with technology access and digital literacy. I assisted 130 clients across eight training sessions with the installation and utilization of web-conferencing technology. I collaborated with clients one-on-one to troubleshoot mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. As a result of supporting VASC operations during a pivotal transition point, our staff can continue to engage with clients.
I supported the expansion of QNA by implementing direct community and social media outreach strategies. Previously there were up to three participants. However, participation increased to 20 in July 2023 and 15 in August 2023. To welcome the next generation of County leaders in the GFP, I facilitated a two-hour site-visit session to provide valuable insight into the development of VASC. The agenda included an introduction to the team, a history of VASC, services, facility highlights, a site tour, and a panel discussion on career pathways in the County.
My primary fellowship project was to analyze and provide recommendations on how VASC can serve youth in local communities. I developed a proposal for a future youth after-school program at VASC, Student Pathways to Academic and Community Engagement (SPACE). The program objective is to engage youth in personal, academic, community, and cultural exploration by providing a safe space where youth in underserved communities would have equitable access to opportunities and resources to achieve success and wellness. My fellowship has been an amazing experience to further develop my skills and knowledge of public service while working on a variety of projects that make a positive difference in the lives of our community members.