What a weekend!!! Crystal, Mandy, and I spent the weekend of November 7-9, 2014 in Merced to attend Norcal UVSA’s 8th Summit Leadership Conference on behalf of MVNCI. The annual event is hosted at a different NorCal university each year, and students from all Norcal VSA chapters are invited to attend. This year, it was hosted at UC Merced and the theme was “Purpose, Passion, and Progress”. Students attend to socialize with other VSA chapters, have the opportunity to listen to inspiring keynote speakers, attend informative workshops/funshops of their choice, and celebrate at the fancy Gala hosted on Saturday evening. MVNCI was invited to lead a workshop on Interview Tips, a funshop on makeup tips, and a lesson on Vietnamese 101. And, we were there to recruit for the upcoming pageant season as well! Crystal was the Programming Co-Director of the event with her roommate Christine, and they graciously let us stay with them that weekend.
“M” for ucMerced!
On Saturday morning, Mandy and I sat in on invited guest speaker Mike Bui’s keynote speech, who also happens to be Crystal’s older brother! It was inspiring to listen to his story of where he started out and how he reached the level of success he has accomplished now. It was also then that we learned the theme “Purpose, Passion, and Progress” was coined by none other than him! Then, it was time to host our first workshop – Interview Tips. We attempted to give students a basic overview of the interview process and shared specific tips from our own experiences. Students asked great questions throughout which made me happy that they were actively paying attention! Afterwards, we took professional head-shots of the students for them to use however they pleased.
After lunch, it was time to host our makeup funshop. Although none of us claim to be experts in makeup (and we let that be known to the students!), it wasn’t too bad as it is easier to share makeup tips and show pictures rather than to actually demonstrate it ourselves. We shared all the tips that we learned from working with makeup artists during pageant and watching YouTube tutorials, as well as things that we already knew. I thought it was great how there were a few guys in attendance that came to learn as well! (=P) For our demonstration, we had 10 pairs of lashes to put on girls that volunteered which turned out to be a big hit with the girls. We only had time to do a demo on 2 girls; however, after the workshop ended, it was quite impressive to see Crystal putting lashes on 8 more girls who were lined up outside. (=D)
Finally, for the Vietnamese 101 workshop, Mandy led the way as she was the most fluent in Vietnamese out of the 3 of us. Unluckily, the Powerpoint slides that we had prepared the night before was not brought with us; luckily, there were markers and construction paper available for her to do her lesson with! For our activity, we asked students to choose one word to describe themselves, and to write the Vietnamese translation of their choice word on a piece of construction paper. At the very end, we all took individual and group pictures with our words.
The Gala held later that night was super fun!! We enjoyed the performances given by the students, the food that was served, and especially the dance floor afterwards. (;]) Sunday, the final day of Summits, arrived almost too quickly as we participated in the final activities held to close out the weekend. Several students gave heartwarming thank you and farewell speeches. It was very touching to know that VSA representatives from Washington came all the way to attend! Mandy and I took this opportunity to reach out to all the girls to consider participating in the upcoming pageant. To officially end the weekend long event, the UVSA team impressively put together a slideshow of the entire weekend’s activities as a parting gift. I regretfully never had the opportunity to be apart of VSA during my college years, so I was really grateful for having had this VSA experience! We would like to thank UVSA for inviting MVNCI to attend Summits!!