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Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2013

UC HASTINGS 55 Steve Ngo ’04 “Now, the new generation has integrated into American life natively. Their needs aren’t that different from any other urban American teen in a challenging environment.” — served on the board of SEACC and been elected to the San Francisco Community College Board. Despite the challenges the Southeast Asian community continues to face, it has brought a welcome vibrancy and sense of renewal to the Tenderloin. In the past few years, the neighborhood has added parks, playgrounds, and an elementary school, making it more family-friendly. “The families and the young people and seniors bring diversity,” says Young, who has lived in and around the neighborhood for 31 years. “There are families who really like being here, and they make the neighborhood more positive.” In recognition of this impact, the city officially designated a stretch of Larkin Street as “Little Saigon” in 2004. It was a moment of great pride for the community. “We think that’s our biggest achievement,” Nguyen says. “It doesn’t mean we’re looking at the past. We hope it’s the cultural center for Southeast Asians in San Francisco. We hope that Little Saigon can do the same thing as Chinatown and Japantown—bring in tourists and benefit the community and the city.” And thus, Little Saigon, day by day, becomes a more integral part of the city, and its citizens a more integral part of America. “It’s what happens to every ethnic group that comes to America,” Ngo says. “You see a blend, not just Vietnamese or ethnic Chinese Vietnamese, but a beautiful amalgam.”


Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2013
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