Volunteer Spotlight


Brandon Nguyen

 North Hollywood Chapter
California, USA

 Visual Arts and Music for Society - Brandon Nguyen

"At first, I joined mostly on a whim...
however, realizing the huge difference 
one person could make, I found myself
going to meetings for the next few years."


Read the rest of Brandon's answers.

Rising Volunteer

Richard Liang

Richard Liang is from Fremont, California. He actively participates in the arts program at his school, playing cello in his school’s orchestra and percussion in the jazz band. Richard founded and led the VAMS Chapter at Mission San Jose High School. During the end of his junior year in high school, he was selected as our Director of Growth and Development. He likes that VAMS not only serves the community, but also encourages student leadership. He hopes to "learn a lot from VAMS, including communication, writing, and leadership skills."

Foster Care & Child Development

Easter Event at Penny Lane Family Center

Visual Arts and Music for Society Easter Event at Penny Lane Family Center

On a Sunday afternoon, VAMS members visited Penny Lane Family Center, an orphanage for adolescent girls. The event kicked off with traditional Easter festivities, such as marble swirl egg painting and an egg hunt. Afterwards, several booths were set up for cookie decorating, paper bag decorating, and karaoke. Through fund-raising efforts and generous donations, all of the girls received a prize: these prizes included Godiva chocolate, bath and lotion sets, jewelry, and stuffed animals. Moreover, Penny Lane Family Center received a large canvas painting of the Easter Islands (drawn by VAMS volunteer Sarah Kim).

Halloween Spooktacular at CBS Studios

  • Where: CBS Studios - 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604
  • When: Saturday, October 25, 2008

Visual Arts and Music for Society Halloween Event at CBS Studios

For the first time ever, four Southern California VAMS chapters worked together to host the 2008 Halloween Spooktacular for over 500 orphans, foster care children, and homeless families. With the support of CBS Studios (local Los Angeles television channels 2 and 9) and the Studio City Chamber of Commerce, VAMS Founder Ernestine Fu organized this event, which took place on Saturday, October 25, 2008. The purpose of the event was to give underprivileged children, teens, and families the opportunity to enjoy a 100% free Halloween Festival, make new friendships with interesting people like them, and just have fun! The event featured live music, food, games, a photo booth, a DJ, contests, prizes, and a haunted house. And, organized by the VAMS student volunteers of North Hollywood, Harvard-Westlake, Sherman Oaks CES, and South Pasadena, booth activities included face painting, storytelling, mask making, t-shirt decorating, dancing, mummy wraping, and more! In addition, every participant received a special treat bag.


Thanksgiving Event at CBS Studios

In 2009, volunteers set up a Thanksgiving carnival on a lot at CBS Studios, with booths and activities such as a beanbag toss, face painting, musical performances, karaoke, and various arts and crafts. Children and families were bused in from schools/daycare centers, and the event was also open for families living in the area to walk in and join in the festivities. Volunteers entertained the kids with games, helped them with craft activities, and served a Thanksgiving dinner to the families who attended.

Alumni Spotlight

Ian Clarke

Ian Clarke received a full ride to Indiana University, where he studies music composition. He has also been selected as a Berklee College of Music presenting film score composer, and earned recognition from the Beverly Hills Literary Society and the Kauai Peace Project. In high school, Ian studied the piano, flute, piccolo, guitar, and Indonesian gamelan. He used his expertise to reach out to the community through VAMS. What does this musician have to tell us about music? "One of the most important things to understand about creating music is that, regardless of how much music theory you know, or how much technical ability you possess, your music will be hollow and uninteresting if you lack emotional integrity."

Staff Spotlight


Jasmine Schladen

Web and Design Developer

UC Berkeley

Visual Arts and Music for Society - Jasmine Schladen

Read more about Jasmine.

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