During May commencement ceremonies, Marvin Hy-Minh Chau, a biology major and recent graduate of the ASPiRE program, was awarded The VCU Board of Visitors Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student for outstanding academic achievement, leadership and service.
Chau, who is on the pre-medicine track and currently possesses a 3.9 grade point average, is a first-generation American and the first in his family to attend college. An active member in the ASPiRE program, Chau served as a member of the leadership recruitment team and as a resident assistant. One of Chau's favorite activities within the program was partnering with the Fairfield Boys & Girls Club.
"We volunteered with a program called Fit-to-go, which was aimed at healthy living styles and wellness for the youth of today," he said. "During my time with Fit-to-go and Fairfield Boys & Girls Club, I was able to be a role model and mentor to the students."
Chau decided to become involved with ASPiRE because he wanted to be more involved in the community and continue his volunteering experiences from high school. He also said ASPiRE paralleled his aspirations to become a physician by embodying concepts of altruism, compassion and service.
"ASPiRE goes beyond the concept of volunteering because we established relationships with community partners and continued volunteering with them," he said. "The experience wasn't a one- or two-time volunteering event, but rather a sustained partnership and relationship. Small differences will eventually add up and enable larger and bigger differences to occur, thus impacting our society and the world around us."
Chau plans to apply to medical school for Fall 2017 admission.