Hello beautiful! My name is Amy Chanthaphavong. I was born in sunny San Diego to refugee parents who were exiled from Laos after the Vietnam War.
Being bi-cultural Lao American + 1st generation, I struggled with my identity, not knowing where I belonged and feeling like I was not accepted by either culture. I grew up in the ghetto with working parents who were rarely home. When my parents were home we barely communicated and they didn't know how support or affirm my self-worth. Into my early 30s, I was emotionally bankrupt and constantly striving to prove my worth through achievements. I wrestled with insecurities and developed a critical internal dialogue, the kind that leads to depression and suicidal thoughts.
It was through faith in God I learned about unconditional love, how to transform my mind and live with purpose. I believe the heart and mind are inextricably linked, that one does not exist without the other and stories have the power to transform our minds by touching our heart. In hearing other people’s stories and sharing my own, I started to find understanding! Storytelling became a natural part of my life, capturing and sharing the lives of individuals who turn weakness into strengths by bravely facing their journey with boldness, vulnerability, and passion. Marking the start of Sharing Amy.
OTHER SHENANIGANS About the
I was the first Laotian-American to be crowned Miss Asian America in 2009, the longest running Asian pageant in the U.S. Traveling across the United States and abroad as a goodwill ambassador and a leader in the Asian American community, I actively used my title to bring awareness to issues that are dear to my heart such as Anti-Human Trafficking, Education, Medical Care, and the preserving the family unit. With an appetite for adventure and social impact I moved to Laos in 2014, one of the least developed countries in the world, to be a part of the economic development. One thing I have learned from a diverse work experience in law, real estate, technology, media, and more recently banking, is the power of building relationships and being a flexible life-long learner.
I am also a Global Shaper Alumni. The Global Shapers Community is an initiative by the World Economic Forum, a network of city-based hubs, developed and led by young leaders who want to develop their leadership potential towards serving society.