WHO WE ARE
Tony Ngo, Founder and Chairman
SEO-New York, class of 2000
Our story begins in New York in 1963. Inner city kids from underprivileged backgrounds face limited opportunities and, often, underperforming school systems. Students look for role models and support to achieve their aspirations.
New Yorker Michael Osheowitz is committed to the vision that ambition and intelligence – not zip codes or skin colour – should determine who succeeds. At age 24, he founds Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) as a mentoring programme to help underserved students gain admission to competitive colleges and universities.
Tony Ngo, SEO-New York, class of 2000, as then an investor in Asia broadly and Vietnam specifically, heard from corporate and social leaders about their pressing needs for talent. With Vietnam opening to the global economy, opportunities were everywhere, but seasoned managers who could compete and innovate were scarce. Then in 2009, Tony founded “Interns in Vietnam” (IIV) to develop leaders who would not only succeed as individuals, but also make a difference by driving business, economic, and social change. To entice supporters and applicants, IIV wrapped this leadership development vision in an intensive internship program targeting top university students.
The initial program placed five students at Horizon Capital and IDG Ventures Vietnam in the summer of 2009. In 2010, under the direction of Napoleon Ta, IIV became an affiliate of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a U.S based non-profit organization that provides educational and fellowship programs to young people from underserved communities. Thus, we formed SEO-Vietnam.
Since then we have grown dramatically each year. We have expanded the signature SEO-Vietnam Fellowship Program to include two sessions in HCMC (Spring and Summer) as well as one in Hanoi (Summer). Additionally, we also run Momentum in an effort to broaden our impact to a wider base of students
The strength of SEO-Vietnam lies with the passion and commitment of our alumni. We operate on a 100% volunteer basis, yet we expect to serve over 100 students a year through our four intense programs.