The Vietnamese community in Seattle has tremendous opportunity for social, cultural and economic success. Many Vietnamese are bilingual Vietnamese-English, and are able to share their culture and heritage through social enterprise and small business—such as restaurants that specialize in Vietnamese cuisine or arts and cultural performances during the Lunar New Year.
However, despite the accomplishments of the Vietnamese-American community, there remain social and economic inequities that make it difficult for all Vietnamese to be self-reliant and successful. For example, within Seattle Public Schools (2011), 72% of Vietnamese students qualify for free and reduced lunch—an indicator of low-socioeconomic status. The district average is 41%. About one-third of Vietnamese students do not live with both parents and 33% speak English as a second language.
In order to effectively serve our community, VFA’s programs and services focus on four core areas: