Lifetime Achievement Honoree Vivien Hsueh (Montgomery)
Vivien Hsueh is the founder of the Chinese and Cultural Community Service Center (CASSA). She was selected for the Governor’s Service Award in the Lifetime Achievement category. Her innovative and inclusive approach to meet the needs of seniors in Montgomery County has become a successful, all-volunteer model that fosters a rich intergenerational environment, creating community for 3,000 members and engaging 250 volunteers each year.
It all began more than a decade ago, when Vivien Heueh recognized the overwhelming number of older first-generation Chinese immigrants isolated in their home due to lack of English proficiency, inability to drive, and knowledge regarding county services. Vivien Hsueh decided to rise up! Now, her CASSA model has created a pathway for senior volunteers to create their own events and combat social isolation and cultural barriers. As CASSA and Vivien’s passion for advocacy grew, she recognized parallels in other groups and developed the “Let’s Share” model. Her and her friend piloted this model for the South Asian community (Jai Ho), Jewish community, and she has plans to “Let’s Share” with the Latino community after the pandemic. The Jai Ho Seniors used to meet weekly for culturally enriching programs in dance, music, song, and exercise. Since the start of the pandemic, Vivien also works at distribution sites to help deliver food to county residents in need.
Watch her Governor’s Service Awards video here.
Praise for Vivien:
“Vivien has an uncanny ability to create volunteer opportunities for older adults in a nurturing environment, building their self-esteem, reducing isolation, and increasing wellness.” -Nominator, Odile Brunetto, Aging and Disability Services, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
“Montgomery County is a most welcoming and age-friendly community because of people like Vivien Hsueh. She saw the problem of isolated immigrant Chinese seniors, and did something about it, bringing happiness to thousands of Chinese seniors.” -Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Executive (2006-2018)
“With so many of our aging population increasingly isolated, Vivien Hsueh has created a model program. Her energy, compassion and determination demonstrate the truly innovative contribution she has made to our county.” -Irwin Goldbloom, Former Chair for the Commission on Aging, Montgomery County.
Jai Ho Team at International Spring Festival, February 2019, North Potomac Community Center