Thach “Tak” Nguyen, a Vietnamese graduate of University of California, Los Angeles, was honored by the White House as one of five young leaders being recognized as Champions of Change for outstanding leadership on their campus. Nguyen is cofounder and CFO of the nonprofit Swipes for the Homeless. The organization, which started on UCLA’s campus, encourages students with meal plans to donate their unused meals, or cafeteria “swipes,” at the end of each academic quarter. Swipes for the Homeless then delivers the meals to homeless people throughout Los Angeles. The organization has grown to include chapters on campuses across the country and even overseas.
Nguyen immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at young age and credits his parents for instilling his ambition and desire to help those less fortunate than him. In addition to founding “Swipes for the Homeless,” Nguyen served on UCLA’s Undergraduate Council as a student and has worked for the Walt Disney Company and Target Corporation.
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Last fall, the White House announced the launch of the Campus Champions of Change Challenge. After reviewing a record number of entries, 15 finalists were announced, and the public chose the top five projects they think best embody the President’s goal to win the future. In addition to being invited to the White House and meeting the President, these five Campus Champions of Change will have the opportunity to work with mtvU and MTV Act to create short features about their projects that will air on mtvU and be featured on MTV.com.
To learn more about the Champions of Change program, visit whitehouse.gov/champions.