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."

Our History


Ernestine Fu, Visual Arts and Music for Society - VAMS International Founder, Ernestine Fu

Founder Ernestine Fu at
VAMS Youth Leadership Seminar

Visual Arts and Music for Society (VAMS) International was established in 2006. VAMS started out small; it began when Ernestine Fu co-founded its first local chapter at North Hollywood High School and became the club’s president, directing its activities and commitments. She notes, "The challenges of management helped me hone my skills as a leader and, in spite of all of the responsibilities, I became infused with a compassion and understanding of the underprivileged in the 'forgotten' part of society." She decided to focus her efforts on building the organization and establishing other VAMS chapters. 

Since founding the first VAMS Chapter at North Hollywood and expanding the nonprofit to other locations, Ernestine implemented various other activities and initiatives such as chairing the first Youth Leadership Seminar at UCLA and spearheading the VAMS Scholarship and Internship programs.

Today, VAMS has evolved to become an ongoing, consistent part of the lives of others. VAMS responds to hundreds of people in various local communities, providing charitable music and interactive activities.

Read more from the North Hollywood High School newspaper, The Arcade, on how VAMS began and expanded.

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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