Discovering Pathways to Support the Asian and Pacific Islander Community at Work and Home – Anthony Nguyen’s Story

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), we’d like to spotlight one MillerKnoll associate who has not only made great efforts to support and educate others within MillerKnoll’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) but also channels his passion into supporting AAPI youth in his local community.

Anthony Nguyen, Showroom Manager at MillerKnoll, has been with the company for seven years and has been an active member of the REACH (Race Equity Allyship Culture Heritage) BRG’s Asian subgroup for over two years. The purpose of MillerKnoll BRGs is to advance the understanding and inclusion of associates with a common background, set of interests, and shared goals.

Alongside the many dedicated BRG members, Nguyen’s involvement has spanned from helping organize and execute guest speaker events and supporting educational book club meetings to crafting weekly posts on the company intranet during APAHM to help educate associates on regions of Asia, food, culture, history, and more.

Anthony Nguyen, Showroom Manager at MillerKnoll

Nguyen also puts his values into action by volunteering with Apex for Youth - a nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering underserved Asian and immigrant youth from low-income families in New York City.

Apex for Youth’s mission is to provide young individuals with the resources, support, and opportunities they need to thrive academically, socially, and personally. The primary recipients of their support are Asian and immigrant youth facing economic challenges, aiming to bridge gaps in education and opportunity within these communities.

Nguyen first learned of Apex through a colleague’s invitation to the non-profit’s annual fundraising gala. While at the gala, he heard firsthand how powerful their programming and resources were in these young people’s lives.

“I was inspired by the students who shared their stories of how Apex impacted their lives. It changed the way I thought about volunteering,” Nguyen said.

Anthony Nguyen pictured with fellow volunteers and Apex for Youth students

As a volunteer at Apex for Youth, Nguyen and other supportive adults play a role in engaging elementary school kids, typically in grades 3 to 5, through interactive arts and science activities focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).

“I can empathize with these kids. We become more than volunteers, we become extensions of their families,” Nguyen said, “It’s like having an older brother or sister they can look up to in this organization, but we [volunteers] get a lot out of it too.”

Volunteers also help the young participants understand the importance of community involvement and teach them ways they can contribute positively to their communities.

“These activities not only foster their creativity and critical thinking but also allow them to explore different aspects of the AAPI culture,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen has also brought Apex for Youth volunteer opportunities to MillerKnoll associates – often amplifying Apex events associates can get involved with in New York City.

Nguyen and Apex for Youth students pose for a group photo

There have been numerous positive outcomes for the youth involved in Apex for Youth programs. Nguyen shared that one of the most rewarding aspects for him is the strong bond that develops between volunteers and the kids they mentor. Through this close relationship, volunteers often become mentors for the youth, providing guidance, support, and encouragement.

“I recall a powerful moment when a child I was paired with made a friendship bracelet for me. This gesture symbolized the impact I had on them and the meaningful connection we had built throughout our time together,” Nguyen said.

Seemingly ordinary moments like this highlight the profound influence volunteers can have on the lives of young individuals, fostering personal growth, confidence, and a sense of belonging within the community.

When asked how his volunteering experience has impacted him personally, Nguyen shared:

“Volunteering with Apex for Youth has been incredibly rewarding. It's a humbling experience that provides valuable insights into the challenges and experiences faced by underserved youth, especially those from immigrant and low-income backgrounds,” Nguyn said. “Through this program, I've gained a deeper understanding of the resilience and determination these kids possess despite their circumstances.”

About MillerKnoll Business Resource Groups

The mission of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) is to engage members through experiences, initiatives, and activities that align with our corporate strategy. BRGs are strategic partners that bring together associates with a passion for championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability in our company and our communities.

BRGs are formed around a shared set of interests, experiences, or perspectives. They help us advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability while also supporting our corporate and talent strategies. Participation in a BRG provides opportunities for professional development, cultural education, and awareness, and for making an impact across our organization and into our communities and markets. Learn more about MillerKnoll’s DEIB journey so far here.

About Apex for Youth

Apex for Youth empowers underserved Asian and immigrant youth from low-income families in NYC to help them unlock their potential and a world of possibility. Our volunteers support and mentor youth, building the next generation of tomorrow’s change makers. We are in active pursuit of a more equitable future. Learn more here.