Letters from Miss AACO:
Dear Asian Avenue Readers,
As my year is coming to an end, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic. This year has been such a journey for me. It was full of laughter, smiles and lots of happy tears. I’m so grateful to have been a part of such a wonderful program that really pushed my boundaries. In last year’s reflection video, I stated that I joined the program to really challenge myself and push myself out of my comfort zones. I thought it was just going to be another program where I had go to workshops, take notes and leave, hoping to learn something. This program has been beyond what I expected. I’ve met some of the most inspirational people through the program and I’m lucky enough to call them my close friends today.
My senior year was slowly coming to an end and the program was exactly what I needed to end a chapter of my life and begin a new one as I was about to go to college. It really helped me find my place in the Asian community during my first year of college. I had felt so lost because I didn’t know where my place was and what my purpose was, but the program was always there to remind me that I did have a purpose. The purpose to give back to my community whenever I can, whether it was volunteering, getting involved in an organization, or simply doing a kind deed.
Being Miss AACO also really taught me a lot about myself. During my year, I continued to struggle with self confidence and my self image. I always questioned myself, “am I worthy of this title?”, “am I good enough?”, “do people see me as Miss AACO?”, etc. I kept feeling like I wasn’t glamorous or pretty enough to represent such an amazing program and I always doubted myself at the beginning because I didn’t feel like I fit into that mold. A great friend of mine (Phil Trinh), reminded me constantly that I was doing fine. He would give me pep talks and give me encouragement every time I needed it. He told me, “you didn’t let Miss AACO make you, YOU made Miss AACO.” And it made me realize that as Asian American women, we come in all sizes, shapes and forms. We don’t fit into one mold and that’s okay, because that doesn’t make us any less amazing or any less of a leader. Outside appearance really isn’t important because it comes down to what’s inside of you, your character and your compassion.
From my experience as Miss AACO, I have been introduced and exposed to many more avenues of programs and organizations I can contribute my leadership through. After the title, I will continue to fight for victims of sex trafficking, continue to be involved in my Vietnamese community, and even more. My experience as Miss AACO has really taught me that I have no limits and as long as I really put my heart and soul into what I do, I can come out successful. I hope to always be a part of Miss Asian American Leadership program because I owe so much to for what it’s given me.
I know it may be a bit hard to understand where I come from when I speak about Miss AACO, but I hope you all understand that it’s a program that changes lives, creates friendships, and helps bring light to female Asian American leaders. We continue to thank the community for always supporting our program.
Finally, I’d like to give a special thanks to: Annie Guo, Dao Than, Phil Trinh, Becca Newton, my parents, my siblings and my friends for being there for me throughout this crazy adventure.
Dear Miss AACO 2014,
I hope that you enjoyed your time during the program. I hope that going through the program was worth all of the effort and that it taught you lessons that will last a lifetime. I hope that you’ve finished the program with an addition of friends to your list. But most importantly I hope that you are proud of yourself for everything you’ve accomplished.
I just want to let you know that the crown, the sash and the title honestly don’t mean anything. It doesn’t make you more glamorous, more important, or even more amazing. You have always been all of the above before and after the title. There is nothing to “live up to.” YOU are Miss Asian American Colorado and YOU choose what that means.
On a final note, I know you will do fantastically well and I excited for what you have to offer.
Love your Miss Asian American Colorado 2013, Thuy ❤