BACKGROUND: Thao-Nguyen Le was born in Vietnam. Her family immigrated to Seattle in the ’90s. She went back to Vietnam to work for a startup after a career at KPMG and then came back to the U.S. She has been living in Queens for the past two years. She finds Astoria to be very quaint with its tree-lined streets.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Le develops and implements programs for Vietnam Heritage Center, recruits and manages volunteers, organizes special community events to celebrate Vietnamese culture, and cultivates and maintains relationships with donors and community members.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT: “I hosted two festivals — the first of their kind in the city — celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year and the Moon Festival, in February and September respectively,” Le said.
“Together, they brought 1,000 people to celebrate. There is a lot of work involved, with recruiting and training around 50 volunteers, and creating a program that will draw people in.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Seeing the organization grow and reach its full potential,” Le said. “Trying to balance different facets such as fostering and building relationships with advisors and board to get donations, train volunteers and retain them, how to reach out, get people interested in Vietnamese culture to come together for events.”
INSPIRATION: “The community I serve inspires me,” Le said. “The students learning Vietnamese, the young people who come to volunteer after spending long hours at work, and all the people who come to support us for our events.”