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I had the pleasure of attending the 28th Annual Asian Education Advisory Council (AEAC) awards ceremony this morning, and I’m glad I did.  Southwest Denver schools had the run of the place, and I couldn’t be prouder of our scholars.

From College View Elementary, we had:

Academic awards

  • Ham Le
  • Calvin Nguyen
  • Jennifer Nguyen
  • QuocVuong Nguyen
  • Tho Nguyen
  • Trac Nguyen
  • Michelle Pham
  • Lynn Truong
  • Kim Vo

Leadership awards:

  • Tuyet Duong
  • Tiana Pham
  • Kathy Ta
  • Nghia Van
  • Anna Vu

Traylor Elementary had a representative, too: sweet little Sophia Nguyen, who won a leadership award.  Her teacher nominated her, and Sophia is known for helping other students, even giving up her own center time just to show kindness with her classmates.  When other kindergarteners feel shy about going to the restroom, she goes with them and holds their hands so they feel safe.  Isn’t that sweet?

Abraham Lincoln junior, Thinh Ly, received an academic award as well.  His was a $750 prize…very well deserved indeed!

AEAC is one of DPS’ education advisory committees, mostly made up of groups from within DPS students (i.e.; students with disabilities, Latinos, etc.).  AEAC was established in 1985 by the Board of Education and seeks to improve educational quality and opportunities for all students, with an emphasis on students of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage.

As I remarked in my brief comments today, I am proud to represent Denver’s largest contingent of Asian students, predominantly of Vietnamese heritage.  As the daughter of immigrants and the first native-born American citizen in my family, I feel a special kinship to the immigrant experience we share.  We first welcomed immigrants from southeast Asia to southwest Denver in the 1970s, and they quickly became part of the fabric of many textures that is our district.

Congratulations to all the winners, but particularly to our young folks from College View, Traylor and Lincoln.  Great job!

Beatific elementary faces

A traditional Vietnamese dance

Sweet Sophia, her mother and me.

Sophia receives her leadership award