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ASA: A New Club with Purpose

Braedon Harris, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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As the fire alarms went off, students evacuated the building. Teachers followed behind, pushing the students out of the nearest entrance, nothing was rushed, and things moved calmly and slowly. It was just a fire drill, and in this case schoolwide dismissal.
Why does this matter?
This just happened to be on the same day as the Asian Students Association (ASA) interest meeting. Despite students having a difficult time re-entering the building on Sept. 5, the meeting had a great turnout.
As students got situated, club officers stood at the front of the classroom. After a few minutes, President Raymond Truong spoke over future members. Once everyone stopped talking, he began introducing the officers and explaining the agenda. As he explained the service project and what the club was about, applications were passed out. It was a brief form asking for basic contact information and what students can bring to the club. As the meeting came to an end, many students left eager to join.
“ASA is a culture-based club,” Truong said. “Basically what we do is we volunteer in the community. We embrace Asian culture, and we teach Asian culture. Those who are interested can join the club and learn about our culture.”
Truong started the club because he feels the Asian population is underrepresented in society. He wants to represent the cultures and an active Asian population within the school.
“This club started with me and my parents talking,” Truong said. “For the past 30 years, they have been sending care packages to Vietnam.”
Inspired by his parents, ASA has began an annual service project. The officers got together and chose a country to be the recipient of the project donations. This year, it just happened to be Vietnam.
“Our yearly service project is to raise money and send it back to a third world country in Asia,” Truong said. “I will be flying back to Vietnam personally using my own money. We will be doing a program with my grandparents village, buying basic supplies and necessities.”
The club raised over $1,500 this summer and hopes to raise $5,000 by the end of the school year. Like other clubs, ASA will have plenty of volunteer events including marathons and community service projects. However, to promote asian culture they will attend several Asian cultural festivals throughout the year. These include a Korean festival in October, a Vietnamese festival scheduled in February and another Chinese festival shortly after. The club now has over 90 members, and with all the club activities, they predict they’ll be able to raise enough money for the annual service project.
“I was only expecting around 50 or 60 members,” Truong said. “With all of our events, we will be able to reach our goal.”
Truong has high hopes for the year and says he is glad to have such a strong group of people surrounding him.
“I would like to thank my parents for helping me come up with this club and inspiring me to make a difference in countries that aren’t as well off as we are,” Truong said. ‘I would like to thank my officers for working hard, and I would also like to thank Ms. Ly for being an amazing sponsor for the club.”

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