Mai Du, Founder and Sifu of the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden, jokes that her American dream started out as a nightmare at Logan Airport. Only eight, exhausted from a long trip from Vietnam via the Philippines, she arrived with her family in the United States on Halloween night.
Despite this spooky start, Du has established herself in the United States not only as a Vietnamese-Chinese-American but a nationally recognized youth organizer and activist, one of the few female certified Wah Lum Kung Fu instructors in the Greater Boston Area, Founder and Sifu of a thriving award-winning Kung Fu and Tai Chi academy in Malden, owner/teacher of a math and reading school, and founder of numerous local and national advocacy groups and coalitions.
Learning and education, or as Mai puts it “sharing,” is a constant theme in all she does. Passionate about youth and education, she is what she calls others to be, “relentless in the work of instilling hope and inspiration in our younger generations so that they have self-motivation, life skills, and a vision to take their futures heads on.” Mai believes young people can do great things and she believes community is key to helping cultivate the right atmosphere for growth.
But now is key in terms of doing what we can as a community to invest in youth. For they are not just tomorrow’s leaders, they are here NOW and can be the change not just tomorrow but NOW. -Ose Schwab
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