Community Service Comes First for Busy Health Education and Promotion Grad Loan Duong (B.S., '10)
June 11, 2010
Loan Duong gives credence to the old adage, 'If you want something done, ask a busy person.'
In spite of being diagnosed with Lupus during her sophomore year, the health education and promotion major attended Lehman full-time, held down three part-time jobs, was active in student government, and volunteered in Montefiore's adolescent AIDS Program as a peer educator.
"Many people do not understand why I'm willing to waste precious time on volunteering," says Duong, who was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and raised in the Bronx. "I feel that giving back is very important and why not do it when it can impact someone's life some way?" She also wanted to set a good example for her two year-old son.
The SEEK student became vice president of Student Conference, a financial planner for CASA (Campus Association for Student Activities), and a peer educator in the College's Counseling Center. Overcoming the language barrier was a challenge—only Vietnamese was spoken in her home—but her fellow students and Lehman faculty members gave her the assistance she needed to strengthen her English language skills and better understand her coursework.
She credits her Lehman experience with providing hands-on training in her field and helping her to map out her future goals. "Overall, Lehman has helped me to become the person I am today," she says. "Without their support and guidance, I would be lost."
Duong hopes to pursue her master's in public health at Lehman and eventually obtain a doctorate in public health. But for now, she will continue to volunteer at Montefiore and other nonprofit organizations until she can secure a full-time job in her field.
"I want to educate people and promote awareness in the hopes that the information will help them make healthier lifestyle choices," she says. "If I could make an impact on at least one person's life, I have accomplished my goal."