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."

Visual Arts and Music for Society

teenagers serving the community through

music, creative arts, and performing arts




What is VAMS?

A non-profit organization, Visual Arts and Music for Society (VAMS International) consists of youth who seek to bring music, art, and companionship to those less fortunate in their local communities.

Recognizing the healing power of art and its ability to uplift, VAMS members reach out to those who suffer from poverty, diseases, disorders, and disabilities. The organization achieves its goals by visiting and sharing their talents with thousands of individuals at hospitals, orphanages, convalescent homes, burn treatment centers, and homeless shelters. Along the way, volunteers also benefit from their involvement in VAMS, from developing event organization skills to building lasting friendships.

Learn more about VAMS.

New Book: Civic Work, Civic Lessons

Our founder Ernestine Fu and Stanford professor Thomas Ehrlich have written a book on public service. 

Civic Work, Civic Lessons

Civic Work, Civic Lessons explains how and why people of all ages, and particularly young people, should engage in public service as a vocation or avocation. Its authors are 57 years apart, but united in their passion for public service, which they term “civic work.” The book provides unique intergenerational perspectives. Thomas Ehrlich spent much of his career in the federal government. Ernestine Fu started a non-profit organization at an early age and then funded projects led by youth. Both have engaged in many other civic activities. An introductory chapter is followed by seven key lessons for success in civic work. Each lesson includes a section by each author. The sections by Ehrlich draw mainly on his experiences. Those by Fu draw on her civic work and that of many young volunteers whom the co-authors interviewed. The concluding chapter focuses on leveraging technologies for civic work. 

All profits received by the authors from the sale of this book will be donated to philanthropic organizations.

Read more on the book's website.
Order Civic Work, Civic Lessons on Amazon


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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