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FVS 2020 Global Scholars

Two Fountain Valley students dug deep into world topics to earn their Global Scholar Diploma. On their 18-month journey, seniors Viet Dang and Sarah Garcia engaged in scholarly research which culminated in their compelling capstone theses.

Director of Global Education Brittany Harrison says,

These students have promoted the tenets of global education and put forth research that will make the world of tomorrow a better one, not just for them, but for all of us.
Harrison, Dang and Garcia created the Global Scholar Diploma Logos Anthology website showcasing the students’ ambitious portfolios and work. Following are overviews of their projects.

Viet Dang: What’s Our Role? Exploring the Civic Engagement of Vietnamese Youth

Dang embraced the School’s core value of courage in producing this body of work. Vietnam is a one-party Communist state, and he worries that his paper may be viewed by his government as subversive, potentially presenting difficulties for him.

“I had an exhaustive mental debate on whether or not I should pursue this subject, because the words I am putting down right now might be considered an attempt to overthrow the government, or even worse, treason. For any subjects convicted of one of the aforementioned crimes, there are no venues for them to return to the country, let alone participate in any political capacity. However, it is my purpose, and obligation, to contribute to the advancement of Vietnam by engaging in politics and social reforms. Because of that, I want to clearly state the reasoning behind my decision to take on this risky task: I do not want to undermine the sovereignty of the Communist Party or the Politburo; all I want to do is to inform the youth of our country’s aching problems and propose ways for us to be a part of the solution.”

His paper traces the influence of youth involvement in Vietnam’s history from 1955 to the present, including a perspective on the Vietnam war. Dang created an actionable guide of do’s and don’ts for Vietnamese young people on how to effect political change without fear of punishment. His goal is to inspire them to participate in politics in a productive and peaceful manner that brings about change from within the party.

As young citizens, we have to place the cause of our country above the whims of our desire, contributing to the Nation’s progress with every tool we possess, every medium we procure, and every ounce of effort bestowed upon our body by a determined will and an unwavering faith.
You can read his thesis here.

Dang is headed to Georgetown University to study political science.

Sarah Garcia: The Invisible Border: Revealing the Bloody Trail of Gun Violence Between the United States and Mexico

“In Mexico, I learned first-hand the traumatic effects that gun violence can have after being in a drive-by shooting, never again feeling safe in my own home in Mexico,” she writes. Garcia is a first-generation Latinx who lives in Yoder, Colorado. “In the United States, I experience it differently; I see the number of innocent lives families are stripped of because of the availability of firearms.”

Her goal was to debunk myths about gun violence and provide facts and statistics about the reality of guns in the U.S. and Mexico. Garcia analyzed statistical data and tracked gun distribution since 2000, one year after the Columbine shooting.

This turning point in the division of American opinions on gun legislation caused many Americans to look southward to place blame on Mexico for their cartels influencing this ‘newly violent’ America,” she proposes.
She says that extracting biases in her research was a challenge. “I am aware of the possibility of bias in my news sources, and I plan to use it in my favor if it does appear, as it will provide me with the distinct approaches to the situations, and the censorship of information will provide me with insight into how the governments of these countries are approaching the issue.”

Garcia delved into legislative and social responses to guns in both the U.S. and Mexico, gun sale statistics, the NRA, mass shootings and more to conclude that gun violence in the United States has increased the gun violence in Mexico through the rampant gun smuggling occurring from north to south of the border.

As part of her study, she proposed legislative solutions to include universal background checks, greater accountability for licensed gun dealers in tracking weapons sold, better safety training for concealed-carry permit holders, improved mental health reporting and restrictions on persons with restraining orders.

You can read her thesis here.

Garcia is headed to Wellesley College where she will study international relations and pre-law.
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