What’s Your Story?

We spoke to MSU president, Faith Nguyen, about their upcoming documentary series.

Pictured+is+Faith+Nguyen%2C+president+of+the+MSU%2C+looking+over+the+documentary%27s+Google+form.

photo by Julia Poppa

Pictured is Faith Nguyen, president of the MSU, looking over the documentary’s Google form.

Julia Poppa, Photography Editor

NASH’s Multicultural Student Union has consistently been at the forefront of change within the district, constantly taking on new projects to help bring awareness to just how diverse this school district is. Their latest project? A short documentary series highlighting the unique stories of this district’s residents with the hopes of unifying our community through this recognition of difference. 

“Essentially we’re creating a documentary series interviewing as many people from NA as possible– we want to get students from elementary, middle, and high school, as well as parents, staff and alumni,” said NASH senior and president of the MSU Faith Nguyen. “In our main video, we’re going to have NA community members answer 3 questions (listed below), and compile their answers to highlight the variety of stories within our community.”

The MSU designed three questions with the intention of unearthing the interesting perspectives within North Allegheny’s borders, giving participants the opportunity to answer whichever question(s) they’d like, in hopes of filling the documentary with the many different aspects that come with, well, being different.

But what are these questions exactly, and what is the MSU hoping to get out of them?

“For our main inquiry, we want people to answer three questions: what people’s greatest challenges were, what makes them rejoice, and what they want to be taken away from their story,” Nguyen continued. “We want to showcase the diversity of North Allegheny, and hopefully let people’s personal experiences inspire the community.”

Along with these questions is a more open ended option where participants can share whatever unique personal stories they may have that display the kinds of adversity that aren’t often associated with the greater Wexford area. 

“The main part of this series is going to be a compilation of people across the community answering our three questions, but we’re also going to invite a few people to do an extended interview where we delve deeper into their story,” Nguyen explained. “There are so many people we walk by every day that have remarkable stories, and we don’t even know it. I think it’s time we change that.”

Faith Nguyen/NATV

Just like many of MSU’s projects, this documentary project has been in the works for months even before the Google form ever hit Blackboard. 

“We’ve been planning this project since late winter, and we’d like to release it in a month or so,” Nguyen said. “We’re also looking into the possibility of attaching a non-profit fundraiser to the project that’s aimed at amplifying voices and uplifting our communities, since that’s the goal of the documentary itself.” 

But despite months of work, this documentary still has a lot further to go. Submissions have already started to come in, but the MSU hopes that they will see even more submissions — hopefully from all corners of the district. 

“So far we’re getting quite a few responses rolling in — hopefully once we can further push it to the elementary and middle school levels, we’ll get even more engagement. At this point in the process, it’s all a matter of getting as many students, staff, parents, and alumni involved as possible,” Nguyen said. 

“I think our aim for this project is to create a sense of commonality within the NA community– even though our goal is to demonstrate diversity, I hope that people will be able to see that despite our differences, we all experience hardships and triumphs. Even though our paths are not exactly alike, we are all universally human, and that’s what connects us.”

The MSU hopes that participants and viewers alike are excited to see what this series brings– hopefully a deeper understanding within this community, but also an excitement to delve into the fascinating untold stories of their peers.

The MSU is excited to work with the community on this project, and therefore will be putting a majority of their focus for the rest of this year into developing this series and taking advantage of the platform they have.

“For the remainder of this school year, we’re hoping to focus on MSU itself by holding club conversations and meetings. Everyone at NASH is welcome to attend!” Nguyen concluded. 

The Google form will be available to anyone in the North Allegheny School District, but it will be closing once the MSU feels they have enough material for the documentary, so for anyone looking to participate should do so soon.