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Release Date: November 25, 2019

Two enterprising Camosun students, Keo Tran and Angela Zhang, from the college’s Hospitality Management and post degree diploma programs are leading efforts to organize a fundraiser on behalf of the 10th anniversary of Community Micro Lending, an island non-profit society that connects local lenders to local borrowers, and helps people earn a livelihood by supporting small-scale entrepreneurship. All proceeds from the Nov. 29 event help single mums start their own businesses.

Keo Tran’s career in marketing and events has taken her to ten countries and counting, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China and now Canada. An international student from Vietnam, she researched educational destinations around the world before deciding that Camosun College was the best place for her to learn the skills to advance her career.

“I was working in a management position in Thailand after graduating university with a degree in international relations,” she says. “My boss suggested that I continue to learn and upgrade my skills and then come back to advance my career.”

When she discovered Camosun’s top reputation among students, she knew it would be a good match for her educational and career ambitions. “I was accepted to several schools in the US and Canada, and even had a scholarship in Sweden, but Camosun was the only one that reached out to me and said I could start right away.”

Now in Victoria, and studying full-time at Camosun’s Lansdowne campus, she is thrilled to have found a welcoming home away from home. “All the positive reviews I read from other students about Camosun are true,” she says. “The quality of education and the feeling on campus is excellent and I want to learn as much as I can. Camosun is definitely the right destination for me.”

Tran is excited to partner with Community Micro Lending to make a positive local impact. “They bring so much value to the community and they help a lot of people,” notes Tran. “After ten years, this is a really meaningful time to show the impact they’ve had on the community, and to promote the connection they have with Camosun.”

Tran’s role on the student-led team of seven is overall project lead, while her program colleague Angela Zhang, an international student from China, serves as marketing manager.

“The event is a great opportunity for people to meet and mingle and just connect with one another,” says Zhang. “We’ve got delicious food and beverages, a huge list of silent auction items, a great guest speaker and a jazz quartet playing. Everything we’re doing is in support of a good cause and we’re learning practical, transferable skills while we support a great local non-profit.”

Zhang’s passion for learning at Camosun is evident. “I came from UVic where I was doing graduate studies and here all the instructors are so friendly and always willing to help and you can feel the great atmosphere,” she says. “I transferred to this program because I think in the long-term it will be more beneficial for me, especially learning practical skills on projects like this.”

Both Tran and Zhang have big plans for the future. “I want to be an entrepreneur later on, so I’m building relationships and learning as much as I can before graduating,” says Zhang, “this is my last course in the program and after graduation, I will be transferring to business administration and after that I’ll be looking for a job in my field.”

The event, Stronger Together: Celebrating 10 Years of Local Impact, in support of Community Micro Lending, takes place on Friday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 – 9pm at the Dock: Centre for Social Impact on Cormorant Street. Guest speaker Gilad Babchuk, co-founder of Groundswell Social Ventures will speak about social impact and entrepreneurship.

Tickets cost $40 each, but Camosun alumni, students and employees can save $15 by using the code “CAMOSUN” at checkout. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the group’s Eventbrite page. For more information about how Community Micro Lending transforms lives through entrepreneurship, please visit their website.

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Keo Tran and Angela Zhang, from the college’s Hospitality Management and post degree diploma programs.

Keo Tran and Angela Zhang, from the college’s Hospitality Management and post degree diploma programs.

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Last updated: November 25, 2019 11:15 am

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