Jefferson Award: Hong Cuc Thi Nguyen
For Ms. Hong Cuc Thi Nguyen, being of service others, isn't just her passion, it's her priority.
"This long life, so that I can continue to serve people," said Nguyen.
At 85-years-old, Hong Cuc is an activist, educator, community leader, mentor, and volunteer- just to name a few.
"So, I think that's good and I love doing it you know," said Nguyen.
Born in Vietnam, Hong Cuc came to the US in 1981, flying from Malaysia to Colorado, where she would later land a job at the University of Iowa and then, move to Sioux City. Hong Cuc fell in love with the community and from 1991 to her retirement in 1999, she worked at the Mary J. Treglia Community House, as a liaison to hundreds of people in the Vietnamese community.
"In short I can say that I love my work, even they pay me or they don't pay me after retirement, I still love doing it because this is what I believe that is fitted to be that way and I love what I'm doing too," said Nguyen.
And the work hasn't stop, she volunteers there every Thursday.
"She's such a matriarch of the Vietnamese-American community here, so she's here on Thursdays and then she helps to organize celebrations that help uplift Vietnamese culture and also celebrate American culture," said Amy Chabra, Executive Director for the Mary J. Treglia Community House.
A dedicated volunteer and community leader, Hong Cuc says, the key to life is to give and love others, so they too can lead better lives.
"I do the job, helping people it's just because I like to do it, it's my pleasure," said Nguyen.