MEET STEVEN NGUYEN: WATCH THE CONVERSATION & JOIN IN NOW
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What I'm Wearing: Hoodie - Forever 21, Pants - Express, Shoes - H&M
"Heal The World"
I tell stories for a living. From songs that I write, songs that I reinterpret, products from brands that I can relate to, I always find common ground for the things that come into my life and become apart of the journey I am on. I've been very vocal about my upbringing and my struggles from my personal life, my illness and my career. I guess by being vocal about my issues it truly does help people in return. Someone found out about what I do for a living and felt that I would be the perfect fit to tell someone else's story within my own. The Oakland Unified School District has a fantastic program called HEAL. The program caters to young adults entering the medical field. Each student is in high school and they have the desire to work in the medical field after they graduate. I was asked if I could tell the story of Steven Nguyen. At first I turned down this opportunity, because as we all know I went in for major surgery and could not have the time to sit down and meet with Steven and get to know him properly. I was honestly devastated that I had to turn it down, because I felt that If I met Steven it would give my journey a little more clarity to see life from someone else's eyes. Fate seemed to have other plans and sure enough I ended up with the chance to meet with Steven. I got to get to know his story, his upbringing and the reasons why he wants to get into such a difficult career field. I got to know a genuine guy who like me, wants to make a change for the better and like the namesake of the program, a guy who wants to heal the world one step at a time.
Steven Nguyen reminds me a lot of myself when I was 17. He is very driven, very passionate about his goals and desires, he is smart beyond his years, he has the poise of an adult in a teen body and to add the cherry on top, this dude is mr. popular. I'm not going to lie, I was very nervous to meet with Steven. I had many chats behind the scenes with my loved ones about meeting with him. I was imitated because his high school, Oakland Tech, is like the doppelgänger of Peter Parker's midtown high school in New York. I knew I was about to meet a mini genius in the making. I'm so used to being the one that is interviewed. I'm not used to asking the questions myself. So I didn't treat this like an interview. I looked at my time with Steven as getting to know a new friend. Just a normal hangout session where we talk about things that are important in our lives. Steven is a busy guy. With college around the corner, he is working hard with every bone in his body to be the success he knows he can be. He only has few more weeks of school, but he is juggling his studies on top of work at the local coffee shop. Steven is like any other dreamer who will do what it takes to be the best version of themselves. We talked about everything from his time in the HEAL internship all the way to his amazing photography skills and being a curator of one of the biggest local instagram photography accounts. Like me, Steven is the youngest in his family. Our parents both did not come from the states. Mine obviously came from a little island/US territory, but his came from a whole other country. Steven had to grow up faster than most people his age. We both can relate there. He still has to grow up faster than his peers. Having parents that are not from the United States, he does his best being a 2nd generation American. In America people think it is so easy to thrive here, but nowadays young guys like Steven have to work 100% harder than most people who have the advantage of having a family background from America. Those of us who have families that are not born and raised in America, we can agree there is a whole lot of cultural differences, from the languages spoken at home to our general upbringing. Steven reminded me about the things people like us want to do in life, it is not the normal and some people won't understand that. It is hard to push people's perception of our lives aside. But somehow Steven Nguyen has found a way to do just that. I have a lot of respect for Steven. You can tell this guy has thick skin with a lot of heart. He was approached to join the heal program. He went into it with the desire to learn more about a field he wants to be apart of in adulthood. He came out of the HEAL program with the desire to do more, to be more. As we talked about some of the things he saw during his time with HEAL, it reminded me a lot about my time in the hospital. Some things that he witnessed really struck a chord with me. Steven was just a bystander in this program. He wasn't able to help people who needed help during their darkest hour. But by being there and seeing the pros do what they do best, to help save someones life, he realized he wants to continue being apart of an environment like that. That way when he is a pro, he doesn't have to stand by. He can step up to the plate and be that change he wishes to see. I know all to well what it is like to stand there and be hopeless. I know what it is like to not be able to control something that you really want to control. We are so lucky to have kids like Steven be apart of the next generation of adults who will help us to reach our better tomorrows. Somewhere out there in the future, a young Dom Baza is going to walk through the hospital doors freaking out because he can not see. There is going to be a Dr. Steven Nguyen in that hospital to help comfort this kid and help in whatever way that he can. I may not be in the medical field, but that doesn't mean I can't relate to the passions and drive that Steven has. He is a young guy who wants to change the world and make his mark because he has seen how bad this world we live in can truly be. He knows that it is not easy to survive, especially in a country that is being torn apart for our individual diversity. He has learned the differences from his culture, the general American culture and many other diverse cultures through this program and seen how universal the United States truly is. HEAL has helped him to see things he never thought he would see. If more kids like Steven entered a program like HEAL, we would all live in a much better understanding place. We would be in a more whole world. Learning about Steven and HEAL, shows me no matter what darkness we may be going through, this next generation is going to help bring us into the light.
Underneath this rising stars persona is a normal multi talented guy who can play piano, slay a sax solo, take breathtaking photos. Steven is the guy you want to be friends with. As I witnessed several people stop by our convo and say hello to their friend or just stop to admire the greatness of what he will become. Steven Nguyen is going to make his mark, not only that, he is going to heal the world one step at time and that starts with him and whatever steps he takes after he walks through the hallways of Oakland tech one last time. As I reflect on my day getting to know Steven, i'm reminded of my past and honoring it through my present and beyond. As Steven said, he's just looking to forge his own path and do the best he can for himself. I'm doing the same. As the many pitfalls of my life continue to happen, it is in moments like this where I am grateful to once again see through both eyes, even if they are not my own eyes. This whole page of my story is a symbolization of strength and the continuous journey of healing. I'm wearing specific pieces to have someone I love with me as I journey out into this world alone, that way I don't feel so alone as I figure out my next steps to take moving forward. Steven is the same way, he is honoring his culture and his family as he steps out into this world alone. Although we have a 6 year age gap, change is a universal thing that we are both surrendering to. I'm lucky fate was on my side. I got to meet an awesome guy who I have a lot in common with. I went to interview a student who I was imitated by and left with a friend that I hope to see very soon. I hope the world can have more programs like HEAL, that way we will all blessed with the opportunity to stand side by side with guys like Steven, to heal the world and make it a better place with our individual traits and special personal qualities.
Every post I will include the song that inspired me to build a post around it's title
Book 2: Chapter 6