Thảo Phạm is a Huynh Trưởng who teaches Ngành Nghĩa Sĩ in Miền Tây. In the past, she has taught Ngành Thiếu for 5 years, the last 3 years serving as Ngành Trưởng. Thảo has gained a wide exposure of training methods and activities due to having traveled to multiple Miềns for training camps as well as Đại Hội (International Conventions) and Hội Nghị (Congresses). Throughout her years of teaching and training, Thảo has learned what makes a true Huynh Trưởng – and it is not simply just extraordinary teaching skills. It is essentially the Huynh Trưởng’s deep love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
In order to financially support her TNTT endeavors, Thảo works in the Civil Engineering field at a public agency. She holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Civil Engineering with a Structural focus from Santa Clara University as well as the EIT (Engineering-In-Training) Certificate.
Why “Path to Purple”?
Inspired by two fellow Huynh Trưởngs, one in Miền Tây Nam and one in Miền Nam, Path to Purple is Thảo’s journey of preparing herself to become 1) a Huấn Luyện Viên through her artwork and prayer experiences and 2) a holy person whom God desires.
The name “Path to Purple” originated from another Huynh Trưởng’s (HT) Instagram #RoadToPurple, which was included in the caption of specific TNTT photographs featuring herself as a Huấn Luyện Viên (HLV). Thảo chose to change “road” to “path” because “road” has a slight connotation there is resistance to the journey while “path” has a slight connotation that is more accepting of the journey. “Road” has an association to being wide while “path” has an association to being narrow. The usage of this terminology sounds similar to Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The “road” is the way most people walk on quickly and mindlessly because of the vast space. Traveling quickly, people tend to lose track of their values, especially of their relationship with God and other people. They become destructive and disconnected from themselves. The “path” is the way fewer people walk on because it is a difficult one, the one God has called His people to live. This journey requires the willingness to change directions and adapt to this new, intimate, and humble way. Thảo chose to respond to God’s call and desires to become more accepting of the path God has planned for her.
Besides purple being the color of a HLV khăn, purple is foremost a mix of the calm blue and the fiery red. Likewise, Thảo’s personality can be “chill” and calm, but also energetic and strong when needed. The color purple is often associated with royalty and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of creativity, wisdom, dignity, and peace. The color purple is a rare occurring color in nature and is therefore often seen as having sacred meaning. In Catholicism, purple is associated with Advent and Lent. Catholic priests wear purple vestments before performing Reconciliation. Path to Purple is Thảo’s journey to becoming a holier person each and every day by tapping into her innate abilities and using her artistic skills to bring glory to God.
In addition, purple is her favorite color. It is like blue, her previous favorite color, but mixed with red, which means good luck in Vietnamese culture.