The person that I thought is interesting and would love to meet in person is Vannasone Joy Keodara of VOA, Lao Diaspora Voice of America, I heard her voice all the time from listening to her news broadcasting, and I am impressed with her profile that I read from Lao Roots Magazine in their Third Issue.
From her interview, her job description: My primary duties include reporting live news and current affairs around the globe, translating the news from English to Laotian to be broadcast, creating digital files and maintaining the website. I am in charge of a weekly Lao Diaspora and a few music programs, which feature overseas current affairs and entertainment. In addition, I cover field interviews with various news conferences and briefings. I also maintain and handle all aspects of the technology information for Lao Service.
Interesting as to how she ends up working there: I heard about VOA since I was little, but never thought that I would end up working there. I came to D.C. in 2003 for the US-ASEAN Film and Photography Festival for my documentary film The Leaf, Not Yet Falling. While I was here, I learned about the Laotian community and before I knew it, I was already working for VOA-Lao Service.
I love all aspects of it: doing live news, the fast pace life, meeting datelines, and most importantly building my network between Laotians and other groups. I love exploring and challenging. Sometimes I get to travel and which allows me to meet important people.
I enjoy being able to learn about the current affairs of my own communities, as well as others around the globe. I guess people respect my job, my title, and sometimes I get freebies. What is also different now is that people recognize me more.
My parents are very proud of me and so are my other family member and friends. They love what I do and think that it is a very important duty. I would like to someday work on my documentary to bring many untold stories of Laotians to the world. Since my background is in digital art and film, I’d like to see VOA-Lao Service heading in that direction. I would also love to direct and produce a show that will benefit all of us.
I love to learn new things and to do something great. I like to be involved with things that will not only benefit myself, but also my family, my community, and the world. I believe in doing good things, and great things will return. I certainly have become a voice, an important voice, in deed. My voice is spread out around the world to those who are in need most. Essentially, I want to do things that will have a profound effect on the world around me.
As for her advice that she would give to a young person who wants to get into this field: Follow your heart! Trust yourself! Believe in yourself! Never give up your dream. Do speak out and make your voice heard. Stand for what you believe and every thing else will come along. Be honest and be true to yourself, so that you don’t have to find another 25 answers to cover your one lie. Over all, be proud of who you are, your family, your roots and heritage. If you don’t know where are you came, from how would you know where you are going?
A very admirable person indeed…a very powerful message from a Laotian lady, a modern classic Lao woman in my humble opinion.