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."


New Year's Event at Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center

Visual Arts and Music for Society New Years' Event at Gateways Hospital

Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center is a non-profit organization for mentally ill adolescents and adults, including the homeless, the dually diagnosed, at-risk teens, and those exiting the criminal justice system. At this visit, VAMS club members performed two concerts: one for the adolescent patients and another for the adults. Each show featured solos, duets, and trios of both singers and instrumentalists. Instruments included the flute, the piano, and the trumpet. For the grand finale, VAMS singers sang Frosty the Snowman, featuring Marissa Mekvichitsaeg as Frosty, the trumpet-playing snowman. Afterwards, the club members handed out chocolate, fruit, cookies, and cards, and chatted with the patients. As the VAMS members were leaving, patients cheered for them to return on Valentine's Day.

Cardmaking for Glenridge Center

For Valentine’s Day in 2010, VAMS members made over 1000 thoughtful and artistic Valentine’s Day cards for the residents of Glenridge Center, a home for people with debilitating mental disabilities. Though we were unable to visit the center to interact with the residents, we helped brighten up their holiday with colorful, caring cards.

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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