Samantha TrieuCommunication Coordinator
“Philanthropy means expanding your individual world to embrace and seek opportunities to serve a greater collective.”
Samantha Trieu is the Communication Coordinator for PiP, a.k.a. our magic word weaver. She manages outreach and promotional materials through digital platforms and coordinates the Community Hero feature for the unsung heroes in our community.
A Vegas local, born and raised, she applies her absolute best to every project she takes on. She graduated as Magna Cum Laude from UNLV with a degree in Communication Studies. She loved her degree because for her, communication is fundamental in all our relationships, and the relationships we form is what life’s all about.
One of her most memorable experiences as an undergrad was when she was able to teach a course through the UNLV Honors College to help students transition to university life. It was a true lesson in vulnerability with students staring expectantly at her every lesson, but she came to fall in love with teaching and being a mentor.
Yet, the accomplishment she is most proud of was her decision to challenge herself by taking her studies internationally (an electrifying choice for someone who’d never stepped out of the USA before). She was thirsty for adventure and curious about other cultures and their diverse worldviews, so she spent a semester studying in Italy, and fell in love- to the point that her family wondered if she would ever come home.
With a new travel bug permanently embedded, she later embarked in a second semester abroad- this time in Thailand. She discovered the true meaning of spicy while contributing to the local community by teaching English. She learned to appreciate the culture of respect and how to develop mindfulness. But the lesson she feels she gained the most was her deepened appreciation for nature. Living in a city with terrible air quality, she became more passionate about preserving the environment and developed a strange addiction for reusable straws.
Later, she became a Global Ambassador through the Taiwan-US Alliance program, spending time in Taiwan studying the language and exploring the culture. She visited the village of Rinari, where multiple indigenous cultures had been displaced following a natural disaster and had to come together as a new community. She helped to raise publicity for the local school and teach the children some introductory English. There she resonated with locals, who were defining themselves as a new melded culture. Samantha’s a Chinese-American who is continually defining her Chinese and American identities and discovering who she is on a daily basis.
If asked how she came to become an agent of service, she would say that service found her. It was something she stumbled upon by meeting so many warm-hearted people within our community and abroad that greeted her generously and spoke of their own passions. The moment it really clicked for her though was through a high school community service organization- Key Club. It became her world, and when she participated in Adopt-A-Family with her fellow members for the holidays, she had the opportunity to hand deliver gifts for a large family. The simple joy of children ripping into presents they hadn’t expected to receive was a profound moment for Samantha. It was when service became real, and she recognized how every effort, no matter how small it may seem to one’s self, could make a difference in someone’s life.
When not reminiscing on her favorite European lake views or drooling over a plate of pasta, she likes to unplug from the tech to spend time with her family and overly spoiled shih-tzu, escape into another world via mystery novel, or bake cookies, usually sampling more than she probably should during the process.