Garden Grove students view items from UCI Libraries' Southeast Asian Archive
Garden Grove students view items from the UCI Libraries’ Southeast Asian Archive.

On Thursday, Jan. 9, the inaugural Vietnamese American history class at Garden Grove High School toured UC Irvine’s Southeast Asian Archive and learned about the Vietnamese American Oral History Project. The group of 26 students was accompanied by teacher and UC Irvine alumna Katy Jue, two other history teachers from Garden Grove High School, a history teacher from Bolsa Grande High School, Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education member Bao Nguyen and Garden Grove City Councilman Christopher Phan. As the school district moves toward offering more ethnic studies, the UC Irvine Libraries can play a key role by providing research resources to educators, students and the community. “I’m inspired and energized by this Garden Grove High tour because of the opportunity to interact directly with K-12 students,” said Thuy Vo Dang, archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and Orange County regional history and the inaugural project director of the Vietnamese American Oral History Project. “My greatest sense of accomplishment is derived from helping students feel empowered through seeing their histories reflected in the materials and, hopefully, sparking their imagination to pursue research here.” Nguyen, a UC Irvine alumnus, said: “UCI’s Southeast Asian Archive is an invaluable resource for Garden Grove students to contextualize their academic studies as well as their personal experiences growing up in Little Saigon. We’re so grateful to have UCI in the community.”