A Beacon of Empowerment and Inspiration

A Beacon of Empowerment and Inspiration

During an ASM, Amanda Nguyen inspires Marlborough students to be confident changemakers and empowered leaders.

A Beacon of Empowerment and Inspiration

In the narrative of Amanda Nguyen’s life, each chapter is marked by a remarkable display of courage, tenacity, and a relentless pursuit of happiness. From her groundbreaking work igniting the Stop Asian Hate movement to her fierce advocacy for sexual assault survivor rights in the United States and at the United Nations, to her current journey as an astronaut candidate at the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences, Ms. Nguyen’s story is filled with threads of resiliency and empathy. She shared these different pieces of herself with our community during an All-School Meeting (ASM) on February 20, a testament to her commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and fighting for what she believes is right.

Throughout the ASM, Ms. Nguyen emerged as a role model for how to affect change and achieve justice. Introduced by Genevieve L. ’26, whose own admiration for Ms. Nguyen was sparked after hearing her speak at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference, Ms. Nguyen’s presence held a profound significance. Genevieve recalled, “Seeing an AAPI woman take center stage and speak with such wisdom and gravitas made a great impression on me. Then, hearing her stories of activism to enact impressive, concrete change, I knew that the Marlborough community could really benefit from her insights.”

Ms. Nguyen’s address during the ASM transcended mere storytelling; it was a compelling talk interwoven with personal anecdotes, insights, and impassioned calls to action. Beginning by acknowledging the weight of societal challenges, she empathized with the struggles that many face in navigating adversity. Yet, she illuminated a path to empowerment, emphasizing that amidst the darkest of times, hope perseveres, and concrete pathways to change are within reach.

Among the most poignant moments of Ms. Nguyen's speech was when she urged students to prioritize their own dreams over the expectations of others. “You are already under so much pressure to be what people want you to be,” she shared. “I want to tell you right now that the only person that you need to make proud is 8-year-old you and 80-year-old you.” Her words resonated deeply, challenging conventional notions of success and fulfillment.

Drawing from her own experiences as a daughter of immigrants and a trailblazer in civil rights causes, Ms. Nguyen emphasized the importance of authenticity and self-determination. She candidly shared the hurdles she encountered along her journey—leaving prestigious positions to advocate for change, facing skepticism, and weathering resistance. Amidst the adversities, Ms. Nguyen found strength in her convictions and the support of allies who shared her vision. 

Armed with the conviction that change begins with believing in oneself, Ms. Nguyen reminded students to harness their inner strength and seize the opportunity to shape their destinies. As she concluded, she left the community with a final message of inspiration, wisdom, and gratitude: “The most powerful tool we have is our voice. No one is powerless when we come together and no one is invisible when we demand to be seen. Thank you so much for seeing me today.”

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In the image that accompanies this article, Ms. Nguyen stands at a wooden podium bearing the Marlborough logo. She wears a black dress with vibrant details in blue and yellow as she speaks to the community.

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