Viet Nam News
Nguyễn Lâm Thảo Tâm, a 10th grade student from HCM City was chosen from more than 7,000 Vietnamese students to join the Education First’s Youth Leadership Forum in Brazil in August. She speaks to Hà Nguyễn.
Inner Sanctum: Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
I am a female student of Class 10D1, Đinh Thiện Lý high school in HCM City and I am very happy to win the first and only prize to join Education First’s Youth Leadership Forum to be held in Brazil in August this year. I thank Education First (EF) for organising the contest for us to join in and have an opportunity to attend the forum.
Inner Sanctum: I was very impressed with the presentation of your essay in the final round of the EF Challenge, a public speech competition themed, “Do you believe nothing is impossible?” for high school students held in Hà Nội last month. So could you tell us stories on how your mother helped you to change your mind-set, raised your self-esteem, and guided you into the correct learning path?
To put in simple terms, I did not have a very pleasant time in middle school. I started out as a very energetic child and had a fire-cracker personality. But after going through transferring, and being picked on, the firecracker inside me sort of fizzled out. Before I knew it I was a grumpy angst-filled teenager who just did not want to try new things. My grades decreased sharply, along with my willpower. I did not do well in classes, so there went my self-esteem too. As a result I did not do as well as I had hoped in the high school entrance exams. But my mother was always present. She pulled me out of the gutter, reminded me of how important it is to pick myself up, sent me to Dale Carnegie classes, and launched me back into orbit. She is my power and way. I owe everything that I have and all that I am to her.
Inner Sanctum: What did you do to regain confidence particularly after being bullied? Can you relate a story that helped you regain your confidence after these incidents?
It is not an exaggeration to say that every ounce of confidence I own is thanks to the Dale Carnegie classes. The DC school, or more specifically the GenNext programme is built to teach young ones such as myself how to sort out our feelings as well as to prepare for the future. I have made so many friends here who have always been supportive even up to this day, and I have learnt and matured so much. Besides DC, I also have close friends and family who care for me even more than I do, particularly my best friend of eight years, Châu Trân, and my mother. I am forever grateful to all of them.
Inner Sanctum: I was told that you had set up the so-called "three-door" to unlock your fullest abilities? Tell us about this?
The three doors was a concept my mom and I built after our research on the human brain and how ability is unlocked. Through our readings and searches, we have summed up that there are three main factors which contribute to turning potential into ability, particularly in the teenage years. These are mind-set, confidence, and path. The concept of three doors was based on these factors.
Inner Sanctum: You have defined three styles of learning: visual, audio, and kinesthetic that is the suitable path for yourself. Tell us how you learnt in a most active environment and experience engaged active learning at your Đinh Thiện Lý high school?
At Đinh Thiện Lý, I am more freely allowed to voice my queries, thoughts and opinions on all subjects. I am not afraid of negative criticism at school, because there are none. The teachers are also very adept in their subjects and incorporate digital methods into teaching, so classes seem much more interesting. They are also very considerate towards students, and they understand that everyone is different mentally and physically. Therefore, I feel much at home at school.
Inner Sanctum: Do you know something about the EF’s Youth Leadership Forum in Brazil?
I have not been sent the details, but going by last year’s forum, it is a community for EF Challenge representatives to discuss ideas, as well as learn on a global scale. It is going to be so fascinating that I can barely wait.
Inner Sanctum: What do you think about the opportunity that you have won?
I was quite surprised at first because my fellow participants have all done exceedingly well, and I was honoured to be deemed the winner. I am very glad, but also slightly worried. I hope I can do my best to represent our country, as well as be worthy of the title I have earned.
Inner Sanctum: What are the subjects that you will discuss at the forum and why?
I would like to discuss global education. As we all know, education is the primary basis for civilised and modern lives, yet not everyone has access to education. In my opinion this is unfair, because education can be made accessible if its importance is recognised and taken as a heavier issue than it is perceived today. This is one of the biggest global issues, and I would like to listen to different opinions in this regard.
Inner Sanctum: What is your future plan after returning to VN from Brazil and after graduation from high school?
I would like to study abroad, not only for educational purposes, but also for myself. I want to study hard, graduate, and contribute. Life is way too short not to see the world, and I plan on achieving a sustainable career so that I could fund my own adventures. VNS