Tagged ATG Against The Grain Productions

Orphanage and Underprivileged Children Aid: Vietnam

Throughout the month of December 2016, with the coordinated efforts of our advisor to Vietnam, Mrs. Aileen Nguyen, and our dedicated volunteers on the ground, ATG distributed gift packages to 246 students from six schools who are orphans and/or from poverty in Dien Ban, Quang Nam and Da Nang, Vietnam. Packages included a winter jacket, milk and a year of school supplies. From this group of these children, we selected six of the most needy and awarded them with new bicycles to help them get to school. Transportation to school is one of the biggest barriers to overcome for these children, something that is often taken for granted here in the United States.

In addition, we purchased groceries for Ưu Đàm, an orphanage that cares for approximately 50 children in the poor district of Phu My outside Hue.

 

We thank you for your generous support in our mission to help these children in need and allowing us to make a direct impact in their lives and futures. If you would like to donate to help our cause, please donate here.

 

Asian American Fashion, Music, Art Celebrated at 7th Annual Fashion for a Passion

Fashion for a Passion Designers
Photo | David Loi Studios

DALLAS – Nov. 19, 2015 – Fashion for a Passion presented by Audi Dallas gave guests from all over the Dallas community a fresh take on Asian American fashion, music and art at its 7th annual event on Nov. 7 at 7 for Parties in the Design District. Through ticket sales, live and silent auctions, a raffle and additional donations, nearly 450 guests raised enough funds to complete Against The Grain’s 2015 goal of almost $43,000, net, all of which will go to the Dallas-based non-profit’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs for 2016.  Read more

Vietnamese Orphanage/Underprivileged Children Aid Report

With your generous support, ATG is proudly able to send aid for basic needs in the form of food, clothing, medicine, recreational toys, and cultural celebrations to nourish their body, mind and spirit of these children in need. With the help of the local “Education Promotion Association (Hội Khuyến Học) and the local school districts, we now identify underprivileged children who demonstrate academic merit, rewarding them with books, rice, school supplies and bicycles to invest in their education so they can have a future. #beCAUSE

Many thanks to ATG’s Advisor Aileen Nguyen and our hard working volunteers on the ground who visited five orphanages/organizations and helped give words of encouragement and distributed study awards (clothes, shoes, backpacks), food, hot meals, mattresses and rice to 335 orphans and children with disabilities.

We provided aid to the following orphanages/organizations:
  • Ưu Đàm (Huế) –  60 children
  • Street Children Program of Da Nang (SCP-DN) Houses #2 and #3 – 63 children
  • Quan Chau orphanage (Da Nang) – 120 children
  • Huong Duong (Tam Ky) Center for the Blind and with Down’s Syndrome – 22 children
  • Thanh Tam Center for Disabled Children (Da Nang) – 70 children

The children will go back to school within the next week.  We have selected and will start to distribute more aid according to our program “Giúp Em Đến Trường” (Helping You to School) for underprivileged children (orphans, children who have lost one parents, those with disabled parents and those from extremely poor families).  We will distribute rice, clothes, school books and/or bicycles to those who do not have one and live far from school. If you would like to help and support this important cause, please donate today.

Check out some of the highlights from our last disbursement trip below and see the rest on our FB page.

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Wanted: 2015 ATG Board & Creative Team

ATG Board at 2014 Fashion for a Passion (photo courtesy of David Loi Studios)
ATG Board at 2014 Fashion for a Passion (photo courtesy of David Loi Studios)

Professional. Committed. Passionate. Great Time Management. Excellent follow through. Mature. Resourceful. Creative. ATG Attitude. #beCAUSE

The Ingredients of an ATG Leader and the Team that Makes It Happen!

Are you looking to make a difference? Want to get more involved with the community? Want to make amazing friends and have life changing experiences?

ATG is currently recruiting skilled, enthusiastic, dedicated and experienced leaders who have the necessary time to join our 2015 Board of Directors and Creative Team! Read more

Going Against The Grain: 2014 Artistic & Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship Winners

The ATG Scholarship Committee is proud to announce the 2014 Scholarship Winners.  Scored  based on strength of GPA, leadership/community involvement, portfolio/video submission, essays, letters of recommendation and a final phone interview, we chose a record TEN students who are brilliant, shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain means to receive scholarships this year. We are truly proud of this exceptional group and all that we know they will accomplish for their vocation and for the Asian American community in the future. We are also grateful to Dr. & Mrs. Paul Cho and Bruce & Pat McRae for generously donating so that we could give two additional scholarships this year! Read more

ATG Presents at 2014 Vietnamese Heritage Camp – “We Are Family”

VHC ATG

 

The ATG Family was exceptionally proud be a able to participate in the 2014 Vietnamese Heritage Camp. Our team flew from Dallas to Denver, then drove to the YMCA of the Rockies in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. In following this year’s camp theme, “We Are Family,” ATG presented a workshop called “F.A.M.I.L.Y Redefined.” Using interactive games, group discussion and visual art, our team helped VHC campers from 6th grade through 12 grade  find new ways to think about family and create relationships with their VHC family. Campers got to create their own souvenir – a tree with fingerprint leaves of every person in their group to remind them of the “family” they have at VHC. Read more

Vietnam Orphanage Update – International Children’s Day 6/1/14

This email was received from Uu Dam, one of ATG’s supported orphanages in Vietnam (which now has more than 60 children) after International Children’s Day. The following is translated from the original Vietnamese email, and names have been abbreviated for their privacy.

———-

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Dear  ATG Family:

International Children’s holidays returned again this year, warming the spirits of the orphans of Uu Dam.  This year as well as the years before, the ATG gave the Uu Dam family a large donation of money for foods and supplies and a generosity of spiritual values.  The children ​are very happy and excited to receive such a meaningful gift, especially this year’s donation that included extra encouragement for those who achieved academic honors in school from 2013 to 2014. Everyone in the Uu Dam family would like to deeply thank the ATG family.

At the request of Ms. Aileen, this afternoon PT went with the children to the  supermarket to shop for food, supplies and goodies for the International Children Day (QTTN) celebration of VND 12 million.  The remaining VND 3 million PT will purchase awards for the children who achieved the gifted/honor student certificates and also the student at University  who scored well.  Tomorrow, after the distribution of awards and the QTTN celebration, PT will send you pictures for you to see.

Attached, PT would like to send a few pictures of the youngest members of Uu Dam so Aileen and everyone in the ATG family can see.  The children are lovely, innocent and also very smart. The smiles of these innocent little angels of Uu Dam are the gift that PT would like to send to the ATG family during this fun day for the children.

Wish everyone happiness and good health!
PT

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Vietnam Orphanage Update 6/3/14

In addition to providing aid for basic needs such as food, milk, clothing, educational tools and cultural celebrations, ATG takes it one step further with our supported orphanages in Vietnam.  We provide incentives to the orphans to work hard to make a better life for themselves by awarding those who receive an academic achievement certificate from their school district an extra “prize” of new school clothesand school supplies It is our belief that this will continue to give them motivation and inspiration, while also letting them know that someone cares about their future. 

This email was sent by one of the workers at one of ATG’s supported orphanages in Vietnam. The original email is translated from Vietnamese, and names are abbreviated to protect their identity.

Uu Dam  June 1Dear  Aileen!

On behalf of ATG, PT has provided awards for children of Uu Dam who achieved good academic results during the school year 2013 – 2014.  Within this group, XT received  both certificates for good student and also completed her thesis for four years of University yesterday.  She received 9 out of 10 for her thesis.  XT was so happy, dear Aileen.  This morning, after receiving this meaningful award, she got teary-eyed and asked PT to send her sincere thanks to you, Aivy, and all of the members of ATG. She said that she had to go to school

today to set up the completion of her school, but when she comes back at night, she will write to you all.  PT and all of the orphans of Uu Dam will always treasure the love and support from the ATG family.  The continuous concern and support that ATG has given to Uu Dam during the past several years has contributed to making our home increasingly happy and boisterous with the laughter of these children.

 

In these pictures, CH  and CT are brothers.  Because they had to go back to the countryside for their mother’s memorial, I gave them your awards earlier than to the others.  For many years now, both boys have achieved good/honor student status.  Their parents died when CT was 2 years-old and CH was 3-years old.  Currently, they still have their paternal grandmother, but  she is elderly and living out in the countryside under difficult conditions.

ATG Uu Dam Orphanage CHDSC04614

Yours,

PT

Orphanage Update: Uu Dam

(translated from Vietnamese, names abbreviated to protect their privacy.)

Dear ATG family,

Yesterday afternoon, PT and the children went to supermarket to shop for the necessities and food for the children at Uu Dam. The receipts added up to 10 million VND. The children were very excited. They always appreciate and have profound gratitude towards the ATG family.

This year, Uu Dam did not have any students taking the University entrance exams. However, there will be two students preparing for University next year. The children of Uu Dam are healthy and study hard all the time. They know that the reason they have cozy living conditions is largely due to the love, care, and support from the ATG family members. PT always reminds them to live a good and useful life in order to repay the donors who have loved and nurtured them.

With this email, PT includes pictures of the youngest children (the Three Musketeers) as a souvenir to ATG. The little boy sitting in the stroller, PH, is now 7 months old. He was only a few days old when he came to  Uu Dam, and he is currently a healthy and good boy.

Once again, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the orphans at Uu Dam, PT wishes to send the members of the ATG family Health and Peace.

TNPT

DSC04128 3 chàng lính Ng? Lâm

Female Game Changers Gather at 3rd Annual Groundbreakers Speak

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DALLAS, TX – Seven game-changing female Asian American leaders gathered to share personal stories about their paths to success at Against The Grain Productions’ 3rd Annual Groundbreakers Speak event on Saturday March 2, 2014, hosted at The Crow Collection of Asian Art. Despite the blustery weather conditions, guests packed into the museum’s main gallery to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine, coffee and art before settling in to listen to each speaker’s TED-inspired personal presentation around this year’s theme: “Game Changers: Playing to Win.” After sharing their diverse perspectives, speakers joined together as a panel to answer questions and cover hard-hitting issues about identity, cultural barriers, motivation and solutions to nurture leadership in the community. Imparting their insight, there were moments both humorous and poignant. The event concluded with a unique half hour where guests got to interact with speakers one-on-one.

The goal of the afternoon was to give people of all ages a chance to hear and meet influential leaders. It was also about providing mentorship and inspiration, empowering individuals to realize their potential. President/Founder and event moderator Tammy Nguyen Lee said, “Groundbreakers Speak was created to fulfill a need and is unlike most any other event that ATG does. It’s meant to be more intimate and engage with people on a personal level, to create meaningful conversation, provoke deep thought and spark serious leadership. We’re trying to give people a glimpse into who they can be and what we are capable of becoming as a community.”

It was a rewarding and memorable day for our speakers as well. Here’s what they are saying, as they continue to motivate and inspire others to go “Against The Grain”:

Manager of eSports at Blizzard, Kim Phan: “DO what makes you passionate instead of thinking about what makes you passionate. The rest will follow. And remember the words of George Eliot, ‘It is never too late to be what we might have been.’”

Manager of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives for NBC, Grace Borrero Moss: “I am so honored to be included in such an incredible group of strong and successful women.  Listening to everyone’s stories and engaging with other young Asian Americans who are, themselves, making waves in their respective fields is really empowering.  I now feel even more motivated and energized to make an even stronger impact in my field.  Events like these and organizations like ATG are at the forefront of making breakthroughs within the Asian American community.”

Senior Reporter at KERA, Doualy Xaykaothao: “We must remember to continue building bridges across diverse communities, whether via social media or right in your own neighborhoods. A morsel of new information can have great impact in our lives, in our universe. And don’t forget, service to the public is possibly one of the greatest gifts you can give.”

Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, Thear Sy Suzuki: “I left the event inspired and energized!  The connections made were priceless.  Thank you panelists, guests, ATG and The Crow Collection of Asian Art for your authenticity and willingness to share your stories.”

Award-winning Children’s Book Author/Illustrator, LeUyen Pham: “If this amazing panel of women were anything to judge by, I think I came away with one conclusion that I feel certain of:  To succeed as each of these women have, it takes not just brains and passion, but immense courage.  I was honored to be among them, and hope that my story of how I achieved my own dreams will affect someone else, no matter to what small degree.  All change starts with something small.”

Executive Director of The Boone Family Foundation, Cynthia Yung: “It was great to hear from strong Asian women who are changing the stereotypes of model minorities.  Being quiet and obedient may make you invisible but not immune to unfair treatment.”

Lawyer, Advocate, Executive Director and General Counsel of The Asian Resource Group, Inc., Lesley Varghese: “No shortage of inspiration at Against the Grain Productions and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Grateful to Tammy Nguyen for a unique opportunity to meet a few of the most dynamic Asian American women in the country, surrounded by mind-blowing art like “China Porsche!”

Video clips of each speaker will be available on ATG’s YouTube Page.

Read the Asia World Media Coverage.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. In addition to hosting outreach events, it also awards an annual scholarship to exemplary Asian American student artists and leaders. ATG produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at over a dozen film festivals nationwide and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.

 

Words of Praise

“A surprise Dallas snowfall on the afternoon of Sunday, March 2nd, set the tone for an equally unpredictable and fascinating afternoon at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. I found myself hanging on every word from each expert speaker, and their surprising stories echoed through my mind long after I returned home. The obstacles they had overcome! The talents they possessed! The goals they had marked, achieved, and surpassed! Not only were the panelists’ experiences in life and careers remarkable from a groundbreaking Asian American perspective, but they sparked a drive within me to maximize my potential as a modern working woman. Kudos to ATG Productions, and I look forward to the next Groundbreakers event.” – Lisa Petty, Editor, DFW Style Daily

“My first experience at Groundbreakers Speak last year helped to forge a new relationship between ATG, NAAAP and Dallas Women’s Foundation. This year the experience confirmed exactly why it is imperative for all women to embrace their individual stories for the collective good of women everywhere. The dynamic women who shared their stories not only inspired me to embrace my personal journey but they reminded me why female ‘gamechangers’ are valuable and relevant. Women and girls should strive to take on careers and opportunities that challenge the status quo. ATG Against the Grain Productions’ Groundbreakers Speak definitely embodies that message.” – Akilah Wallace, Dallas Women’s Foundation

“ATG’s Groundbreakers Speak this year was so wonderful with strong inspiring women paving the way to success through leadership. We are so grateful to be a part of this annual event!” – Dii Kim, Founder/Owner, Pho is for Lovers

“Thanks to Tammy and the entire ATG team!  It was a tremendous honor and thrill to get to know each of you.” – Sylvia Komatsu, EVP | Chief Content Officer, KERA/KXT

“So BLESSED to be in this audience and experience this panel!  Each offered such insights and knowledge of what it takes to be a FEMALE game changer.” – LeeAnne Locken, TV Host/Actress/Author

“So honored that I had the opportunity of attending an Against the Grain event hosted by the remarkable Tammy Nguyen. The wealth of talent in the room was unmeasurable. Every single guest can contest to walking away from the flawless event being inspired, motivated, and driven to DREAM BIG.” – Yasmeen Tadia, CEO & Founder, Fluffpop

“So inspired to be surrounded by brilliant, powerful Asian American women leaders who are passionate about their careers and fostering the dreams of women around them.” – Karen Liu Pang, Director of Business Administration and Process Effectiveness, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

“Congratulat[ions on] a successful event. The panelists were impressive, informative and a lot of fun. I am glad that we could be a partner and host.” – Jill VanGordon, Director of Education, Crow Collection of Asian Art