Phoenix Bui 


Spotlight on: ESL Volunteer

Phoenix was born in Vietnam and immigrated as a refugee to the US in 1975. She grew up in Tennessee then moved to the Washington DC area after graduation. In 2019, she relocated to Naples, Florida and works remotely for the US Department of Commerce as a patent attorney. She has four grown children: Sophie, Michael, Lucy and Sunny. She is a member of Grace Lutheran Church.  She saw an announcement in the church bulletin that the sister church, “Pelican Lutheran” was looking for volunteer English teachers.  Phoenix contacted Pastor Mark Eisold and has been teaching their intermediate English level class. When she first came to the US, she did not know one word of English. A devout Christian woman opened up her home to Phoenix’s family, and every night she would teach Phoenix English using flash cards. Phoenix also attends the Spanish class offered at Pelican Lutheran, so that she can better help her students, the majority of which are Spanish speaking. Phoenix ran a charity, “Foundation for Children of Vietnam” for the past 25 years, that was founded by her mother (deceased) providing tuition assistance and bicycles to poor students. Education at any level is not free in Vietnam. In her spare time Phoenix enjoys beach yoga and playing the African djembe drum.  My favorite quote is from Mother Theresa: “God gave you the gift of Life. What you do with your Life is your gift to God.”