AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’S “First Days Story Project”

SC-FDSP-Postcard-1-6AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’S “First Days Story Project,” a Collection of Interviews with Vietnamese Americans and Vietnam Veterans, Launches Online April 23, 2015 in Conjunction with Last Days in Vietnam Broadcast April 28th on PBS
(BOSTON, MA) — The First Days Story Project, a national initiative to collect, preserve, and celebrate the stories of Vietnamese American refugees and Vietnam veterans, launches on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at A collaboration between StoryCorps and the PBS television series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, the First Days Story Project is the cornerstone of the outreach and engagement initiative for the Academy Award®-nominated documentary Last Days in Vietnam, directed by Rory Kennedy. The First Days Story Project travelled to six cities across the country — Boston; Falls Church, Virginia; Houston; San Jose; Seattle; and Westminster, California — to record conversations among members of the Vietnamese American and Vietnam veteran communities. These conversations, recorded by StoryCorps, are publishing on the multimedia website and will be archived in the Library of Congress in order to preserve this important part of our national history for generations to come. The immersive First Days Story Project digital platform will also include hundreds of previously unpublished personal photographs from the project participants, as well slideshows that explore the refugee and veteran experience.
“One of the most moving aspects of Last Days in Vietnam were the personal stories of South Vietnamese citizens in those turbulent final days of the war,” said Mark Samels, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Executive Producer. “We knew there were so many more stories — of those who were evacuated and those who were left behind but who eventually made their way to the U.S. — and we wanted to create a platform to share, preserve, and honor their experiences.”
Among the stories featured on the site is that of Andrew Ly, who escaped with his family on a small boat and went on to found one of the most successful bakeries in San Francisco. Refugee Son Michal Pham talks to his friend, Vietnam veteran David Dean, about being resettled in Chicago with the help of Catholic Charities.
Devaki Murch, one of the infants evacuated through Operation Babylift, recounts her story to Thoa Phuong
Thi, a fellow Vietnamese refugee who left Saigon at age eleven. In Seattle, two veterans, Aaron Johnson and Rick Butzberger, share memories of their involvement in the evacuation. Other refugees discuss building new lives in places as diverse as Dallas, St. Paul, and Sugarland, Texas. In all, twenty edited audio stories will be featured on the site and dozens of other raw interviews will be archived there as well.
The First Days Story Project was supported by a successful crowdfunding campaign through the online fundraising site Indiegogo. The campaign, launched in September of last year, exceeded its fundraising goal of $137,000, with notable support from both the Vietnamese American and veteran communities.
Last Days in Vietnam chronicles the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War and is the compelling story of bravery and resilience on the part of the South Vietnamese who escaped, and the U.S. military personnel who, in many cases, disobeyed orders in an effort to help save lives. Forty years after those last days, the First Days Story Project is proud to share the stories of the Vietnamese American and veteran community during their first days in the United States after the war. Last Days in Vietnam, produced and directed by Rory Kennedy, premieres on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE April 28, 2015, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.

About StoryCorps
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, nearly one hundred thousand everyday people have recorded their stories with StoryCorps. In addition to being one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, millions listen to StoryCorps’ weekly broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Television’s most-watched history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2013. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including thirty Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and sixteen George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam.
Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding for Last Days in Vietnam provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations: Dedicated to Strengthening America’s Future Through Education; The Documentary Investment Group: Gretchen Stone Cook Charitable Foundation; Roxanne E. & Michael J. Zak; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television Viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

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Publicity Contacts
CaraMar Publicity
Mary Lugo 770-623-8190
Cara White 843-881-1480
Abbe Harris 908-233-7990

1st Annual Bike-A-Thon Announcement


VietAID’s first annual bike-a-thon on May 9th!

We are thrilled to announce VietAID’s first annual bike-a-thon on Saturday May 9th.   Our goal is to promote biking in Dorchester, and raise money for VietAID’s after school program: VSPY. While both rides are free, we strongly encourage you to consider donating to VietAID on our website. At the event we will have a raffle including some outstanding prizes to raise money.

Location: Tenean Beach dorch-sh

Date/Time: May 9th, registration/Check-in begins at 9AM

Registration is Free at BikeReg. We prefer that you sign-up in advance, although day-of registration is available starting at 9AM.

There are two great riding options, both starting and finishing at Dorchester’s Tenean Beach:

8 K (or less) Scenic Neponset Trail Ride:  This ride is entirely off-street and flat and should feel comfortable to riders of all abilities.  We will take a break at the end of the trail, by the gorgeous Baker Chocolate Factory in Lower Mills.  We will then return along the same route; beginner riders and those with young kids may turn around at any point along the way.  Registration is free.

20 K Spectacular Squantum Seaside Ride:  An easy ride at a relaxed pace for the slightly more advanced rider.  This route involves some trails and streets with low traffic and wide shoulders. It’s mostly flat, with a couple of short steep hills.   It will take us over the Quincy bridge, through Marina Bay and to the Squantum peninsula. This ride has the most spectacular views of the Dorchester Bay, the City, and the Harbor Islands!  We will take a few breaks along the way to enjoy the scenery.   Registration is Free.  

The 20 K ride starts at 10:00 AM sharp.  The 8K ride starts at 10:30 AM.   Delicious Vietnamese food will be served at the finish line between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM.

Come early if your bike needs a quick tune-up.  If you or someone you know would like to borrow a bike to participate, please let us know in advance, and we will do our best to find one for you.

For all ride information, please call Vivian at 617 290 5822.

For sponsorship and event-day information please contact SarahEmily at or at 617-822-3717 x27

Giveaways include:
1) A one year membership for Hubway

2) Bike tools and accessories from Pedro’s 

3) Four tickets for the Museum of Fine Arts

4) A free, customized bike from Boston Bikes 

5) A one year membership for the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum

Job Posting–Executive Director

Organization Overview

The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID), founded in 1994, is the first and only grassroots community development corporation founded and operated by Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in the United States. Located in Fields Corner, one of the largest Vietnamese population centers on the East Coast, Viet-AID’s mission is to build and support a strong Vietnamese American community and a vibrant and diverse Fields Corner overall. Viet-AID’s mission is anchored by five key goals: 1. Promote economic development and self sufficiency, 2. Build and maintain affordable housing for residents, 3. Provide high quality youth programs, child care services and early childhood education, 4. Foster youth and grassroots leadership, and 5. increase civic participation. Presently, Viet-AID, operates a preschool and childcare center which serves 54 children, and provides year round programs for 120 youth. Together with its affiliates, Viet-AID currently provides 88 units of affordable housing, and by early 2016, 123 units. In addition, the organization manages its community center, and provides numerous newcomer resettlement services, including ESL classes, translation, and counseling. For more information about Viet-AID, please visit our website at

Position Overview

The Viet-AID Board of Directors is seeking a dynamic, visionary leader to serve as the next Executive Director for this active and multi-faceted community development organization. Reporting directly to the Board, the Executive Director provides overall leadership for the strategic direction and daily operations of all functional areas including fundraising, program development, public and community relations, financial management, and operations. Skilled at managing complex relationships, the Executive Director is responsible for building a web of partnerships across a wide range of constituent groups, inspiring and facilitating open and ongoing dialogue, and developing and leveraging a team of full time staff and volunteers.

General Responsibilities

  • Working with the Board of Directors, ensure that the organization has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, ensuring the implementation of high-quality, outcomes-oriented, community-centered programming.
  • Direct a team of staff to develop and deliver on strong, measurable goals for each functional and program area including building strategic alliances and collaboration at all levels.
  • Working closely with lead members of the Board of Directors, facilitate participation in financial oversight, the development and setting of organization-wide policies and systems of accountability, and board development.
  • Design fundraising strategy and ensure the cultivation, solicitation, and funds annually from individuals, foundations, corporations, government, and revenue generation.
  • Advocate for and promote the mission of the organization and the greater community, serving as the voice and face in meetings, at events, and on councils, providing vision and direction, and engaging and leveraging others to ensure broad and successful collaboration.
  • Oversee the preparation and sound management of the organization’s budget.
  • Act as a catalyst for organizational change, building a shared vision with others and influence others to translate vision into action.
  • Promote active and broad participation by members of the Board of Directors and other volunteers in all areas of the organization’s
  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state, local and/or other regulations.
  • Provide grant writing, the ability to research new funding sources, knowledge of current federal, state and locally funded programs.Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.

Specific Responsibilities

Program Planning, Development, Implementation and Evaluation:

  • Working with the Board of Directors, plan and develop programs which meet the mission, goals and objectives of the organization.
  • Oversee and lead staff for all aspects of program implementation, with assurance that the programs have adequate resources to succeed.
  • Working with staff, engage in quality control by designing and implementing regular evaluation and program impact assessment, and make programmatic changes as needed.

Staff, Volunteers and/or Contractors:

  • Manage the human resources of the organization in accordance with established personnel policies and procedures, which includes the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, paid staff, contractors and volunteers.
  • Ensure that staff and volunteers are fully engaged in carrying out the mission and objectives of the organization, actively guiding them towards common goals.
  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed, regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
  • Provide opportunities for staff and volunteer development and education.
  • Create a positive and open work environment which can attract and retain highly qualified and diverse personnel.


  • Work with staff and Board of Directors to ensure that the Board of Directors have current material information.
  • Provide regular reports, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding any organizational issues that impacts the successful operation of the organization.
  • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations in the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Develop a media plan which will help assure that the organization and its mission, programs, and services are consistently presented in a clear, compelling and positive image to all stakeholders and the general public.

Budget and Finance:

  • Utilize financial management experience to set priorities, track organizational expenditures to ensure financial health of the organization.
  • Work with staff and advisors to develop and maintain strong financial practices, including clear and accurate reporting of all organizational activities.
  • Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and the Board in preparing annual budgets.
  • Provide asset management and asset development, oversight and direction of Viet-AID and its affordable housing properties.
  • Develop long term capital plan to ensure the long term strategic soundness and viability of Viet-AID and its affiliates’ properties.


  • Bachelor’s degree in business, nonprofit management, urban studies or related field from an accredited College or University. Masters Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Urban Planning or related field preferred.
  • Proven experience in representing an organization to the media and public, including public speaking and marketing.
  • Understanding of nonprofit financial statements.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and decisive decision making, with high level of personal and professional ethics.
  • At least 10 years professional work experience with at least 5 years senior nonprofit leadership including managing multiple functional areas, such as youth services, childcare and early education, and affordable housing development.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement programs that respond to a wide range of community needs.
  • Excellent analytical skills with project management experience.
  • Experience building public/private partnerships, community organizing, or coalition building is a plus.
  • Experience designing and delivering a fundraising and revenue generation plans.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work with broad range of people of diverse race, class, gender, age, sexual orientation.
  • Knowledge of the Vietnamese community in the greater Boston area.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to listen; demonstrated success initiating and managing complex relationships and facilitating dialogue across multiple departments and/or constituent groups; experience managing and developing a board preferred.
  • Fluency in Vietnamese and knowledge of Vietnamese culture are preferred.


Please include salary history and compensation requirements with the other materials requested.

Materials to be sent by deadline by Executive Director Candidates:

Personal Resume; Three (3) Personal References; three (3) Work References; One (1) brief (1 to 4 pages) sample of your writing (a grant application, an article, press release, etc.)

Please send materials electronically to:

Application Deadline: April 30, 2015