Meet City of Dublin Young Citizen of the Year Nominee Vy Nguyen
One of the great traditions in our community continued last Wednesday at the Shannon Community Center. On this evening, the City of Dublin hosted their annual program to honor a Young Citizen, an Organization and an Adult Citizen for their service in 2012. It is a special evening where a lavish dessert buffet and champagne are served. City dignitaries, families, neighbors and residents from every walk of life were in attendance. Mayor Tim Sbranti welcomed the crowd promptly at 7:00 PM and the event was under way.
In order to be considered for any of the categories, written nominations were submitted and compiled for the judging committee. As in the past, the judges have no association with the city of Dublin and they frequently are residents from surrounding towns. The nomination criteria for both the Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year awards are based on the Dublin Pride – Integrity in Action Program’s ten characteristics. They are: Responsibility, Respectfulness, Caring, Giving, Positive Attitude, Trustworthiness, Cooperation, Doing One’s Best, Honesty and Self-Discipline. Under any set of circumstances, this is a very high bar for anyone to attain.
In inverse order, the Citizen of the Year is Janet Lockhart. Ms. Lockhart provides leadership to the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE). The Organization of the Year is the Tri-Valley Youth Court. TVYC is a voluntary diversion program for teenage offenders of misdemeanors. Completion of the program erases an incident from a juvenile’s record.
Finally, there were three nominees for Young Citizen of the Year – Dublin High seniors Ms. Alexandra Brown and Ms. Camille Chabot, and Murray Elementary School 5th grader Ms. Vy Nguyen. In the end, the award was bestowed upon Ms. Chabot by City of Dublin Council Member David Haubert. Camille is a high performing student at Dublin High, has danced with the McGrath Irish Dance Troupe for 12 years, serves as a tutor to 2nd graders at Green Elementary School and is one of the varsity captains of Dublin High School’s competitive cheer program.
To learn more about the youngest of the nominee’s, OneDublin.org sat down with Ms. Nguyen’s nominator, Denise Fisher, a 5th grade teacher at Murray Elementary School. Through Denise we met a vibrant, caring and ambitious nominee. The following are excerpts from the nomination letter:
“…She has always stood out as a leader modeling responsibility in our small elementary school. As a member of our Student Leadership Team, she has spent the last five months organizing members at meetings to make sure that tasks are accomplished well and on time. Vy volunteers almost weekly, giving up precious Friday afternoons to help sell ice cream to raise funds for our free breakfast and weekend lunch program, The Caring Café.
“…This year we welcomed a new student to our class. It was his first time in a regular classroom and like many students, the change was challenging. Before I knew it, Vy had stepped up to take care of our new friend. She helps him to organize assignments, encourages classmates to include him in projects and games, and rushes to his side during frustrating times – often helping him before I have even recognized that he was unhappy.
“…This is how I learned what worthy volunteerism and citizenship really is about. It was watching Vy show me in tiny and meaningful ways that it is our responsibility to look out for others, every day.”
OneDublin.org: Beyond your narrative, what motivated you to nominate Ms. Nguyen for this honor?
Denise Fisher: “I nominated her because I try believed that she embodies all of the character traits they were looking for and she models them on a daily basis. I wanted her to see that what she does for her school and community is recognized and appreciated.”
OneDublin.org: YCOY candidates are frequently high school seniors and juniors. How and why did you think that Vy was notable for this honor?
Fisher: “This is definitely a biased answer coming from 17 years of teaching elementary school. Because they are young and because they have nothing to gain – no scholarships in the works, no committees to impress – the acts of kindness that I see from elementary students must come from the heart. It’s that intrinsic kindness that I wanted to recognize but also wanted other people to see.”
OneDublin.org: Ms. Nguyen’s behavior and attitude is probably a reflection of her family and upbringing. How has her family influenced the young lady that she is today?
Fisher: “I have known Vy and her family since second grade. They have always struck me as not just hardworking, but more that it is your responsibility to your family and community to work hard, to do your best and to give back. Vy’s mom had a “shop” at our Holiday Boutique. Shop owners paid a fee to rent a table. The money raised was to support our free breakfast and lunch program. At the end of the evening, she game me all of the money she had earned to donate to the program. All of it.”
OneDublin.org: This may not be the last time that she is nominated for this award. How do you personally project her future as a student and citizen?
Fisher: “I’ve told her that I she would change the country one day and that I could see her becoming President. My thought was that she would set the standard for how we, the citizens of the United States, are supposed to treat one another all of the time. She is also going to be an amazing student.”
High praise and a very high bar. However, now that South Korea has inaugurated its first female President, do we dare challenge Ms. Fisher’s projections? OneDublin.org congratulates all of the nominees and winners of the Volunteer Recognition Event. You contributions to the quality of life in Dublin are priceless.