Hey, I’m Ary Duong! I was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and lived in Sudbury my whole life. Currently, I’m a Grade 12 student, studying vocal arts at Sudbury Secondary School. Outside of school, I’m a performer associated with Porchlight Theatre Company and Sudbury Performance Group. Within the past year, I’ve worked on the puzzle piece mural with Future North and our school’s BIPOC Committee.
Creating change, especially for youth and minorities, is one of, if not, my biggest passions. I’m the RDSB student senator for Sudbury Secondary School and have been elected Vice-chair of the senate. I’m a member of my school’s student parliament and currently running for Secretary of State. In middle school, I was in the student council and the diversity club. Through these committees, I’ve led, organized, and participated in projects and events that empower students and important communities or causes that are often overlooked, such as the LGBTQ+ community, Asian Heritage Month, MMIWG2S, and BLM.
As a bisexual person of colour who struggles with ADHD and mental health, I’ve struggled a lot to fit in within society but more specifically school and educational institutions. As nice as it is to see more inclusion and diversity as I grew up, the discrimination, false representation, and buried issues continued and still continue to affect my life, along with the lives of others like myself. Due to my deep connections with these characteristics and communities, I hold a grand strength of empathy. I adore my ability to be empathetic as I feel I can connect with others and use my understanding of what they’re going through to tunnel my passion for change in the community.
My life, both its strengths and struggles, have led me to Future North’s Youth Panel. With my qualities, skills and experiences, and alongside the amazing members of this organization, I aspire to eliminate some of the hardships attacking today’s precious youth and input sources of empowerment and support for the future of our northern communities.