The Transformative Power of Teen Advocacy
“For me, an inclusive and equitable future is where all people are accepted, heard, and not discriminated against based on the many traits that make us unique.”
- Brandon Nguyen
The Vietnamese healing practice of cao gio calls for a large coin soaked in eucalyptus oil to be rubbed against the back of a sick person. For Brandon Nguyen, cao gio is a family tradition that signifies the importance of personal connection to support physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Brandon wasn’t always comfortable speaking openly about his own well-being, and he credits trusting relationships with his parents and peers with helping him find his voice. Today, Brandon serves as a national speaker and advocate for leading youth organizations like Healthier Generation, Think Together, and Peer Health Exchange.
When he graduates this year from Vaughn International Studies Academy in Pacoima, California, Brandon’s commitment to health equity will carry on in the school’s Student Court, which Brandon founded to bring positive, restorative discipline practices to his peers and future students.