Everyday heroes in your community serving as an inspiration to the people whose lives they touch — this is the heart and soul of the Essence of Humanity Award.

Loan Vo receives Essence of Humanity Award

Loan Vo of Lancaster was awarded the Essence of Humanity Award on August 25, 2011, at the School District of Lancaster’s All-Staff Meeting.

The Essence of Humanity Award recognizes individuals who, beyond the requirements of their work, demonstrate remarkable human qualities including courage, love, strength, determination, and persistence when dealing with adversity.

About Loan Vo

Loan Vo’s  nomination essay was submitted by Laura Kanagy.  The following are excerpts.

Loan Vo has worked at McCaskey East since 2003 as the school custodian.  He tirelessly and cheerfully greets teachers and students each day as he cleans and response to the many special requests.

Mr. Vo is very active in the City helping recent Vietnamese immigrants adjust to life in the United States.  Students seek him out for help understanding documents or for translation of information for their parents.  Outside of school hours, he provides transportation for people who need rides to the social security office or to the health department.  He helps people find jobs and apartments to rent, and he accompanies people to the hospital where he translates and assists with paperwork.

Before coming to the United States, Mr. Vo lived in Vietnam and then in refugee camps in Malaysia.  His family fled North Vietnam to the South during the war, and Mr. Vo ended up in prison for 3 years, shackled to a wall and forced to do heavy labor.  When he finally got out of prison, he had to leave the country and spent the next 3 years in a refugee camp.  All together, he was separated from his family for 10 years.

Mr. Vo is a humble man with a warm smile for everyone he meets.  He is quietly making this world a cleaner and kinder place to live in.

About Essence of Humanity

The Essence of Humanity Award honors those who inspire the best in all of us, through the presentation of the award and also by elevating the narratives of the recipients. The program began in 2001 when business and community leaders