“ I want to help others in any way that I can” – Vi-Thuy Vo, Scholarship Recipient
Vi-Thuy Vo is currently a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder. While she is still deciding whether to go into high school counseling or join the public health field, there’s one thing she is sure about: “What I want to actually do in life, is help others in any way that I can.”
“I am proud to be a first generation student who works hard to create my own path for success in my family,” Vi-Thuy wrote. While she loves her family and continues to be a role model for her sister thirteen years her junior, she is financially independent.
Her selflessness and devotion to serving others is what made this psychology major the perfect recipient for the 2015 Casey Feldman Foundation Alternative Spring Break Scholarship. The scholarship allowed her to take part in the Harm Reduction: Promoting Health and Prevention Trip based in Atlanta Georgia.
Receiving this scholarship helped relieve some of the monetary burden of volunteering and allowed her to “provide direct service to those who need it most.”
On her trip she worked with four groups, one being the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Another group was Aniz, Inc, which offers support, counseling and HIV testing to those in need. Ana’s spring break trip also took her to the the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC) a wellness organization that focuses on the health of marginalized communities and the Shepard Center, a rehabilitation center that helps people with a temporary or permanent disability caused by injury or disease.
Vi-Thuy was most excited to work in a new environment with people from diverse backgrounds.
She learned a lot from the Shephard Center about how to interact and work with people with disabilities. “Alternative Breaks definitely made me appreciate how privileged I am,” Vi-Thuy said.
“I worked with two different communities in Atlanta to reduce harm especially with sexual health disparities, which include HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, Hepatitis and other diseases,” she said.
“Working with the AHRC, I learned so much more about public health in different environments and how important it is to adapt to that environment and community you’re working with,” Vi-Thuy said.
“Being on this trip also reminded me about the different levels people are at and how important it is to be mindful and use all-inclusive language,” she reflected.
Vi-Thuy said she came back from this trip with much more knowledge and a new appreciation for the communities she is a part of.
With this experience, she pledged, “I will continue to help promote and educate the health and wellness topics that matter to our community here at Boulder.”
At Boulder, she continues her work at Community Health, which is the public health division of Wardenburg Health Center which provides health care for all CU students.
Donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation so that other students may experience the rewards of an Alternative Spring Break.
Alternative Spring Break Scholarships Fostering a Generation Who Wants to Give Back – Nov 2014, Casey Feldman Foundation
About the Alternative Spring Break Program (CU Volunteer Resource Center)
Casey Feldman Foundation Alternative Spring Break Blog News (scroll down for all articles)