In 1975, TRINH BUI-KOKKORIS at the age of 7 came to the United States. As refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, her and her family came with nothing except for their hopes and dreams for a better life.
However, life was not easy. Living below the poverty line, with no understanding of the English language, and with a family of seven to feed, building a new life in the USA was a struggle.
Despite the hardships and obstacles, they encountered good people and organizations who offered help along the way.
Her family persevered and established themselves and were able to call this once foreign land a home.
These experiences have given her firsthand understanding into the plight of the many who still struggle in New York City – like her once, living as refugees in their own country.
Mrs. Bui-Kokkoris has since dedicated her life to helping the underserved.
She founded VLACC to educate, empower and enrich our diverse community by providing free English as-a-second language and Citizenship classes and language classes to promote cultural interactions.
She is a co-director of Happy Seniors, a social day care center helping needy seniors and disabled adults: those of Caribbean, Haiti, Asia, Europe, and Latin American descent – many of whom are former refugees themselves.
She regularly uses her center to provide free meals and food pantry distribution for the local Brooklyn community.
“ONE OF THE GREAT LIFE LESSONS that I have learned is that by having compassion for yourself and for others, you will learn to be tolerant, patient and empathetic, which will lead to experiencing the joys of everyday life. This change within and can engender profound change outwards making the world a better place.”Trinh Bui-Kokkoris at [event]
Trinh Bui-Kokkoris currently lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband and daughter, Catrina. She continues her community work to this day. Additionally, she practices Reiki and has been teaching yoga and meditation for over 20 years.