By Hoang Ngo
Since the spring of 2016, senior Thang and his mentor Damian’s relationship has grown into a genuine friendship filled with trust and joy. Their mutual love for food and adventurous spirits prompted their motto: eat first, and try new things.
The pair starts every activity with food. “We love eating, so every time we hang out, we would always eat first,” Thang said. The reason, Damian joked, is that, “Thang has a bottomless pit for a stomach.” With full bellies fueling them, the duo has continuously pushed each other to try new things – from Spoken Word events to freezing boat trips. The activities and their time spent together have inspired Thang to become more confident, providing him opportunities to interact with new people he wouldn’t have otherwise met. As for Damian, he too has changed. “I’ve grown by allowing myself to not control the situations, and to take them as they come,” he said.
In a few weeks, their relationship will change as Thang graduates from high school and Community for Youth. In the fall, he will join the Honors Program at University of Washington, Damian’s alma mater, and begin studying Civil Engineering. This, however, will not deter them from keeping in touch and trying new things together. When asked if he would give Thang one last piece of advice before leaving CfY Damian said, “I’d tell him to put himself out there. To get involved.” And of course, he added, “Oh, and I would tell him to go to as many Husky Games as possible!”