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This is one of a collection of positive experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. In it Ngoc Nguyen, a young woman from Vietnam, will share with us her journey of hope from about a year ago. UNA-CC talked with her about our "campaign" Global Stories of Hopes and she prepared this video especially for us. We're glad that she's now back to Vietnam safely and we wish her all the best.


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When the pandemic started, Ngoc was anxious, depressed and lost hope when she unexpectedly got stuck in the U.S. way longer than her initial plan due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. International flights were cancelled, borders were closed, and many more things went wrong. While alone in a foreign country without any family support she felt helpless.


Things began to change when she remembered a special power: her inner faith. To her, faith is hope, and hope helped her reach out to local people with a positive attitude and ultimately find support to get through her day-to-day experiences. “Humanity is always available”, she says.


After 3 months of being stuck in the US with no ‘green light’ of borders opening or flights commencing, she started to change her mindset.

  • Instead of thinking she was stuck, she chose to take a sabbatical year to refresh herself.

  • Instead of blaming the situation that knocked her down, she chose to get up and live with the YOLO spirit.

  • Instead of focusing on what she didn’t have and what she couldn’t do, she chose to focus on what she had and what she could do.

  • Instead of living in fear of the unknown, she chose to live in the hope of a brighter future.

  • Instead of trying to change the uncontrollable situation, she chose to control her perspective towards the situation.

Moreover, this time helped her observe her surroundings better, which together with her inner peace, has developed her writing skill to an extent beyond her expectation. She has started sharing her journey on Facebook and been told how much her stories and positivity have touched and encouraged many lives.


Take heart. Stand firm. Don’t underestimate the energy of positivity and belief in the universe. It will leave us breathless in awe and wonder”, Ngoc shared.


By the time this video was made, she was still stuck but as you can see, she was really living the moment and full of hope because she knows the One who gives her more power and holds her future. All she needed then was to enjoy the experience, be patient, keep learning and wait for the right timing to blossom.


Her last secret? “As long as I have God on my side, no life challenge matters.”, revealed Ngoc.


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This is the second story in what we hope will become a series of "Stories of Hope" highlighting how individuals and organizations are reaching out to help one another in difficult times.


We hope to publish these stories on our website via our blog and on Facebook. The stories can be video or audio files, short stories, or poems, short blog posts, or art works. If you have an idea for a story and would like to submit it please use our Google form.


Trang Pham, UNA-CC Board of Directors.

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Centre County UNA is proud to support our local students participation in Model United Nations activities. We are even prouder to tell you about their amazing success! We received a note from Ed Fitzgerald, who guides the Model UN program at the Bellefonte Area High School. The students attended conferences in Ohio and Toronto. Even with the challenges of study and competition during COVID, Bellefonte rose to the occasion. At the Ohio competition the school took first place with 36 points out of a possible total 50 points. Students also won 7 out of 13 individual awards. This is against many schools where Model UN is a class, while in Bellefonte it is an extracurricular activity. In Ohio the students won the competition in:

Security Council 1: Excellent Delegate Awards went to Bellefonte students representing Vietnam, Niger, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and China.

Security Council 2: Excellent Delegate Awards went to Bellefonte students representing

St. Vincent & the Grenadines and China


Security Council 3: Excellent Delegate Awards went to a Bellefonte student representing

China


At the University of Toronto conference a BAHS student representing the nation of Niger, won an Excellent Delegate award.


We also want to recognize Mr. Ed Fitzgerald, AP Government and Politics instructor at BAHS and former President of Centre County UNA (2016-2020), for his work with Model UN. The students' success wouldn't be possible without the hard work he puts into preparing them for the competition.


Kudos to everyone involved in the program. Be proud of your success. We are!!!!


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