My name is Kieu Anh Nguyen Le. I am a Vietnamese-American who has lived in Sacramento most of her life. I busy myself with everything from art to debate to creative writing. My various interests have led me to joining Access Local as a News Correspondent.

I have always loved art but recently I have taken a special interest in Vietnamese art as a way to explore my cultural roots. After the Vietnam War, censorship imposed by the single-party communist government has secured Vietnam a spot at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index. However, art has a certain impunity denied to writing and protesting, as it operates within abstraction. Because meanings and interpretations are subjective, hidden political sentiments have flourished within Vietnamese art. I spend my free time researching different artists and their modes of resistance as well as working to push the limits of my own artwork.

Additionally, through policy debate, I have developed a burning desire to analyze why our society looks and functions the way it does. I spend late nights getting lost concepts of ontology and epistemology, trying to find my way through the flood of ideas that emerge with each debate round. Understanding the power structures that create and perpetuate inequality is the first step in dismantling them. I use tournaments as spaces to test my ideas in real-world simulations as my opponents and I deliberate over imaginary worlds. 

When I am not wading through political articles for debate, I immerse myself in creative writing. As Executive Editor of Polyphony Lit, an international literary magazine, I delight in dissecting and consuming copious amounts of writing by young authors. I eagerly parse the pages, navigating lines of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction as the margins grow more and more crowded with my annotations. Editing has instilled in me an enduring love and appreciation for literature. 

Though I have spent most of my high school career knee-deep in stanzas, refrains, and abstraction, I am eager to expand my skill set into journalism and Access Local has given me the perfect opportunity to do so. As a News Correspondent, I will be able to combine my passion for social justice and writing. This will be the perfect launching pad for me to invest in a career as a writer. Though I am unsure about the specifics of the path that lays ahead, I look forward to navigating the uncharted.