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Anna Dang: Bridging traditional and modern

College student passionate about ministering to Vietnamese youth, women's rights

Published: August 27, 2019   
Maryanne Meyerriecks
Anna Dang, a pre-med major, teaches 10 to 12 year olds with the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Ministry in Barling.

Staying connected to faith and culture is important for Anna Dang.

While attending college, Dang, 21, continues to attend Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Barling and be an active participant in youth ministry, particularly the Vietnamese community’s youth program called Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Ministry.

It is an international organization that nourishes children’s faith from childhood through the teen years. While children receive their sacramental education through Catholic schools and the parish religious education programs, they supplement this education with VEYM.

Dang opted to become a youth leader working with 10 to 12 year olds and attends annual training sessions in Texas to further her qualifications.

“Youth leaders can earn an unlimited number of scarves through annual training,” she said. “Leaders can continue to study their faith into their 80s. It’s grueling, but it’s also fun and really good for the soul.”

She has just returned from Marian Days in Carthage, Mo., where, with her community, she cooked and served meals for the almost 100,000 Vietnamese pilgrims who visit annually.

At University of Arkansas Fort Smith, where Dang is a biochemistry/pre-med major, she is active in student organizations and community services. Volunteering at the Fort Smith Crisis Intervention Center with women and children who have suffered domestic violence influenced her to decide to become an obstetrician/gynecologist. She said she has a great desire to empower women and give them the personal freedom and tools they need to fulfill both their career goals and their roles as parents and nurturers.

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