Annie Vo serves foods to patients at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital
Annie Vo serves foods to patients at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital

Global Mindset Group provides a platform for youth involvement

March 29, 2014

“When I first heard about GMG, I thought, ‘Oh, it’s just another one of those volunteer clubs,’” said junior Patrick Tumbucon “But when I joined, I realized that it was something much more than that.” GMG Network, a newly established club at Clark, aims to shape today’s youth by providing students with the resources to create projects to help the community. Faithful to its name, GMG has a network of several high school divisions, including Glendale, Hoover, Crescenta Valley, LACES and North Hollywood.

GMG works specifically with low-income families around the community, as well as internationally. The founder, Khoa Nguyen, was inspired to start the club because of his own experiences growing up. “It was because of my family background, we had to give up everything before coming to America… It is my way of reaching out to parents like mine to ease their burden,” said Nguyen through a phone interview.

GMG Network's logo is designed by Khoa Nguyen
GMG Network’s logo is designed by Khoa Nguyen

GMG’s logo reveals much of the club’s purpose. The logo, represented by three olive branches, contains a deeper meaning. The first branch represents the students who work on projects to benefit children from ages 8-14. The second branch represents the Board of Directors, who fundraise and collect resources to provide for the divisions. The final branch is the Board of Advisors, which consists of seven individuals who academically qualified to mentor the students.

For instance, students are able to ask a NASA scientist or successful business owners for their opinions about their project ideas. “The string that ties the branches together is our mission,” Nguyen explained. “Our slogan is ‘Unite and Support.’ That means it doesn’t matter what age you are, what background you are, what financial situation you are. We work together as one team with the same mission, which is to serve.”

Being able to share my knowledge with kids who are willing to learn is an experience unlike anything else.”

— Patrick Tumbucon

This year, several Clark Magnet students who are alumni from Holy Family Grade School joined the club and wanted to serve at their former school. The members proposed their idea to the club officers, who met with the school’s administration. “[The members] were able to make it happen by actively organizing meetings between us, GMG, and HFGS. We couldn’t have done it without them, and that’s what GMG is all about,” Ericka Shin, the club’s co-president, said. “We let the members come up with the ideas and we work together to make it an actual project. The benefit of this system is that we learn to be self-reliant and we focus on what we want to do with which groups.”

In March, the club officially launched a biweekly after school tutoring camp at Holy Family Grade School for children from kindergarten through 8th grade. Tumbucon dedicates his Wednesday afternoons helping younger students with English and math homework. “Being able to share my knowledge with kids who are willing to learn is an experience unlike anything else. At first, I wasn’t too open to dealing with small, rowdy kids.” he said. “However, as I continued with teaching these children, I recognized that all of them were able to grasp concepts in a fairly quick manner, much to my relief.”

After several tutoring sessions, the tutors arrived to the classes and heard their names being called affectionately by students who wanted their specific help. Ever since Tumbucon and 12 other tutors began the program, he gained a sense of community with both his fellow members and the children.

Club members play game of trying to unknot themselves without letting go of other people’s hands.
Club members play a teamwork game of  unknotting themselves without letting go of other people’s hands.

Other members who volunteered in regional events also felt a similar sense of satisfaction. GMG members from all the high school divisions worked with Britticares International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

In an event hosted by Britticares International, members decorated a party room, served food and kept children company at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before the event, all the high school divisions played games to lessen any awkwardness. After much laughter and shouting, most of the students knew each other’s names and felt comfortable with each other. “I thought this was a really great experience knowing that it was both enjoyable and that I contributed to something important,” said junior Annie Vo. “It was nice meeting people who had the same interests as I did.”

Junior Nicolas Ochoa helped served food and worked at the front desk to hand out tickets. He believed that his first involvement at a GMG event was an eye-opening experience. “You can hear about it in the news all the time; you hear about a kid who has cancer, you can see a figure or you can look at a graph and hear about cancer rates. But to meet someone in real life and to able to be affected by that kind of experience really changes you and makes you want to do more,” he said.

Although GMG Clark is newly established, the members plan to organize a variety of different events and youth involvement opportunities for the following school year. Some future plans include providing funds for orphans in Cambodia to attend a public school, and maintaining the current free tutoring camps here in Glendale.

To get more information about the club, visit


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