Mind over obstacles, Dr. Sam Nguyen says. Do not let someone else determine your future and neither let the past be in your way. I first met Dr. Sam Nguyen at the grand opening of her Veganic Nail Spa new concept, in Costa Mesa, Southern California.
What baffled me was what was behind the many happy people of Vietnamese origin who work in the spa and were guests at the event. Asking around I was told that Dr. Sam Nguyen is the spa owner; her husband is Christopher Luong.
I approached Dr. Sam and we exchanged a few words about herself and the spa concept. The short conversation triggered me to ask for her phone number in order to arrange an interview with her in the near future.
Dr. Sam is impressively beautiful and meticulous, kind of a nitpicker. She rather shies away from the spotlight and interviews. For whatever good reason, I was lucky to be invited to her elegant and spotlessly clean offices that include a large TV filming studio. We sat in her office. The walls are filled with framed diplomas and acknowledgment certificates and many decorative items. Each one has its own story and history, Dr. Sam told me.
The interview turned out to be a three-hour heart-to-heart conversation in which Dr. Sam went through her life as a young new immigrant from Vietnam, the years of making her strides in the United States, the schooling years, the struggles, the step by step success stories, the constant seeking for opportunities to improve life for herself and her family and finally the national and international acknowledgment and even some fame. The entire conversation was based on the fact that you cannot be lazy; you must get out of bed and walk out the door.
Who is Sam Di Ai Hong Nguyen?
Her motto is: “Help when needed is priceless.”
Her name is Di Ai Hong Sam, mostly known as Dr. Sam. She is a Doctor of Naturopathy, which combines nature, science and technology, in her case, for the beauty industry. Having a background in ancient Chinese medicine she brought what matters to create the healthiest environment in the beauty world, on which she focuses and in which she stands out.
Dr. Sam is also an accomplished entrepreneur who received the United States ‘Lifetime Presidential Award’ for her entrepreneurial scope that expands to manufacturing, consulting, TED speaker, media network and more.
“Help when needed is priceless”
Her 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama, is the highest honor from the President of the United States which recognizes those who contribute more than 4000 hours of service in their lifetime.
Besides being a scholar and a graduate of executive education from Harvard Business School, Dr. Sam is also a talented musician, a singer and a renowned beauty queen of several beauty pageants.
Among Dr. Sam’s many achievements for which she was recognized and awarded are the 2019 Global Peace Award, the World Citizen Award, the Westminster Prestige Women Award, top 6 Platform winner for highlighting the issue of Foster Care Reform, Woman of Achievement Community Platform Award, the Brad Harper Style Award and Ms. National United States Woman of Achievement 2016, which she considers to be her most treasured pageantry achievements. Other titles that should be mentioned are Ms. Texas Woman of Achievement 2015, Miss Asia Woman of Achievement International 2014, and Miss Vietnam, University of Lincoln Nebraska 1994.
Dr. Sam is a proud Mom to two biological and six adopted children.
For the many kids Dr. Sam fostered over the years she is simply a Mom and according to her “a Mom” is the highest award one can receive. To Dr. Sam the noun “Mom” means unconditional love and a bond, like no other, between two people.
“I am a mother first and a businesswoman second,” she proudly tells me sitting behind her large desk. What motivates her daily is the drive to be able to provide her children with the best possible quality of life, just as her mother did for her children. Taking care of her children is a sacred commitment; she vowed to be a strong role model, a successful businesswoman and humanitarian all in order to be the best Mom.
Dr. Sam’s success in higher education, business, and philanthropy is motivated by her children; because it is the conventional concept that parents strive to achieve the best for their children. Therefore, her hopes and dreams are channeled through that precious model that one day each and every woman can be called “Mom.”
The S.A.M. Foundation
As glamorous as she appears to be Dr. Sam has over 300 children all who call her ‘Mom’.
Dr. Sam name derives from her organization, Stable Anchor Manor: The S.A.M. Foundation, established in 2009, in Texas, to provide support and guidance for the homeless, runaway and at-risk youth and orphans, always looking for a way to make a difference. The S.A.M. foundation welcomes anyone to join and help in its ongoing efforts to support those in need.
The S.A.M. Foundation in Orange County, Southern California, was established in 2017 to further support the cause and the S.A.M. Teen Achieve Scholarship was founded in 2016.
What started out as a simple project, has now served and is serving hundreds of orphans in Vietnam with food, cloths medicine school supplies – all what the orphans need in order for them to have a future. The S.A.M Foundation, is one of her most prized possessions. She also supports shelters for the mentally ill and for the Leprosy disease stricken supplying them with rice and diapers. It is simple for her; she goes where they need her, in Vietnam and at home in the United States.
Her proudest moments are to see how the orphans’ love for her pushes her to break more glass ceilings and overcome barriers in order to pave the way for these youths’ future.
Dedicated to helping those in need, striving to provide nature’s healing power, combined with the understanding of the body, mind, and spirit, Dr. Sam’s business endeavors and pageantry allowed her the platform to spread wide her message of nurturing and hope to those in need.
The American Dream Is Alive and Well
Born in 1974 into a large family in Vietnam, and arriving in the United States in the early 1990s, landing first in the very cold weather in Lincoln, Nebraska at 19-years-old, coming to America was not a dream come true. Rather, it was a run away from the hellish Communist Vietnam. Dr. Sam had no teenage years. To first manage to survive in a foreign country, nothing could be taken for granted as the younger generation of Americans do nowadays.
At that time, Dr. Sam worked three jobs in order to pay for a dream she wanted to materialize.
After some 20 years of hard work, today success engulfs Dr. Sam.
“In order to be successful, you must have a clear vision of what it is that you want to achieve,” she tells me. “The goals you set your mind on must be worked with a single-minded energy, willing to sacrifice and dedicate your life to it. There are no such things as shortcuts in creating any entrepreneurial venture.
She lives by the philosophy that “living is giving, BUT,” if not for the communities she lived among that helped her along the way she would have not been the successful woman and devoted mother she is. The American dream is there for you to will it. Therefore, her business ventures are intertwined with her charity work. Dr. Sam’s success was built from those around her and in return she provides resources that those in need could use. “As I continue to live, I will continue to give,” she claims ownership of her modus operandi.
Industrious Dr. Sam Nguyen
Dr. Sam’s own mother, a midwife, has been her role model. While a midwife’s job is viewed by most as helping giving life, in Vietnam it takes a different angle. Poverty makes families abandon their newborn at the hospital. Unable to bear the pain of seeing these babies left parentless, her mom would take some of the babies and raise them as her own. Her mom’s selflessness and altruism has been inspiring Dr. Sam all along to shape her into the person she has turned out to be.
With the combination of Doctorate degree in Naturopathy and business degree, Dr. Sam made her mark on natural medicine. Her many holistic oils and herbal treatments have helped patients from around the world. She also has a record of several successful businesses in the organic, herbal and holistic fields.
Relying on the synergism of a television personality coupled with several pageant titles, humanitarianism, “celebrity” status in Vietnam and the support of the Vietnamese community at large, in the USA and worldwide, Dr. Sam was able to constantly improve and advance her charitable work that continues to help those in need, especially children.
Dr. Sam has been featured in many magazines, newspapers and in several TV appearances for her charity work.
Her talent in designing impressive nail salons and spa venues has brought about national recognition leaving her talented mark in many US cities.
During her collegiate years obtaining her doctoral degree in Naturopathy and her business degree, Dr. Sam was deeply involved with the Nail Salon Industry by way of consulting salon owners, developing, remodeling, and selling nail salons. As a result the newly opened Veganic Nail Spa was the most natural business for her to pursue.
Dr. Sam’s latest business venture is the Veganic Nail Spa, the result of her personal experiences in Naturopathy. The Veganic Nail Spa puts her in a position where not only could she give employment to the youth under her care but also create for them career opportunities and thus a future through the resources she earns.
Besides traveling to Vietnam almost every month, as a leader in her community, Dr. Sam is involved with many of the Vietnamese community’s events. She spends any and all free time with her extended family and even devotes time to her favorite hobbies, such as remodeling, playing the drums and singing.
According to Dr. Sam, the “American dream” slogan in not just a fantasy. It is a reality each and every American has been given to espouse and utilize.
If all immigrants to the United Sates see themselves as people like Sam Di Ai Hong Nguyen, the country will prosper just as Dr. Sam Nguyen does.