“Sometimes you don’t really know what or how you have helped or
changed others until someone points it out to you.” – Uyen Huynh
The BPW Saskatoon ATHENA® Committee sat down with Uyen Huynh, the 2016 ATHENA ® Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient to discuss why the ATHENA® program is so important and what it meant to her to be nominated.
Tell us a little about you and what you do?
My name is Uyen Huynh and I am an award winning hairdresser/educator and motivational speaker.
As the recipient of the 2016 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, you were recognized as an emerging leader who not only excels in your field but devotes time and energy to your community; tell us about your volunteer work.
I do a lot of volunteer work, I try really hard to juggle all of that with having a full time hairdressing career while trying to raise young kids. It has been difficult but nothing is impossible. I always look for volunteer work where I can help myself, like doing hair for underprivileged people here in Saskatoon or in another country. I commit to doing at least one volunteer job a week. I really don’t know what to say, because I just want to give back to the community, to Canada, to Vietnam and anywhere in the world that I can go to help people.
Tell us what the nomination experience and attending the event was like for you.
The Nomination was surreal to me. I was so honored that Kristine Flynn would even consider nominating me for something so amazing. I cried when she sent me the last proof of the nomination. Sometimes you don’t really know what or how you have helped or changed others until someone points it out to you. I then cried again when I received the email that I was a nominee. Attending the event was life changing. I met so many amazing people in our community doing amazing things. I strive to do and be better because of the whole experience.
What has being a recipient of this award meant for you over this past year?
It has been amazing. Out of all the awards that I have received in my career, the ATHENA is the most rewarding and life changing. It is about being an emerging leader, which is something I hold so truly to my heart. There is a story behind this that I like to share. It was a time when I was 4 years old in jail during the Vietnam war, an incident happened and I promised myself that If I made it out alive that I would commit my life to help others, to become a leader, to guide others to live a happy life. I made a video on this and will share it with Kristine to share it with you if you want to hear the story, so you can understand why the ATHENA® Young Professional Leadership award meant so much to me.
Why would you encourage others to nominate other leaders for this award?
We need more leaders. Simple as that. Strong, empowering women, who can grow a community and lead them in every aspect of people’s lives, one who is not scared to share their stories, but especially I believe a great leader needs to have a compassionate heart. Only a real person with a pure compassionate heart can truly lead others.
On behalf of the ATHENA ® Committee we would like to thank Uyen for all the incredible volunteer work she has done on behalf of herself, her community and Saskatoon. As well as for taking the time to sit down with us and put into words what ATHENA® means to her.
For more information on Uyen please read her full ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award bio or view her video journal where she speaks about her past and what lead her to be the woman she is today.
Don’t miss out- buy your tickets for the 2017 Be Bold for Change – ATHENA® Leadership Awards Luncheon and Symposium today!