The latest class of graduates from KOTO Saigon celebrates their achievement and begins the next phase of their life’s journey.

KOTO (Know One Teach One) is one of Vietnam’s leading non-profit social enterprises that serves at-risk and disadvantaged youth. KOTO transforms the lives of youth in Vietnam through its unique holistic hospitality training program and training restaurants. The graduation ceremony for the KOTO class of 2015 was held last Friday, June 26 at the Sofitel Plaza Saigon.

Jimmy Pham, KOTO founder, global ambassador, and chairman of the board of trustees said, “Our 2015 graduation theme, ‘I Do’,  highlights the fact that our graduates are committed to first changing their own lives, and then to changing the lives others around them. KOTO trainee’s actions will create a ripple effect around the world, because if you ‘Know one, then you should teach one’.”

At the start of each trainee’s journey at KOTO, each one creates a ‘dream bottle’, symbolizing their hopes and dreams for the future. Each KOTO graduation ceremony features the Dream Bottle ceremony, a touching moment symbolising the achievement of the necessary life skills, technical, and service aptitude to begin a successful career in hospitality. Graduating trainees earn a Certificate III in Hospitality, accredited by Box Hill Institute, Australia. The credential enables graduates to enhance their career path either working in Vietnam or overseas.

At the event, the 7th class of KOTO in Ho Chi Minh City, and the 20th class KOTO’s 15 years of operation, 20 graduates were celebrated by over 300 guests, including KOTO trainee sponsors and parents, KOTO staff and volunteers, and KOTO Foundation donors. The Sofitel provided the ballroom, while other sponsors included Starbucks Coffee, Celliers, Le Pub, Budweiser, Yaly, AsiaLIFE Magazine, Soul Academy, Red Apron, Box Hill Institute, and ABLINK.The event also featured a special appearance by celebrity performer, Trong Khuong.

“KOTO appreciates the generosity ofour  trainee sponsors, whom we now call “Dream Makers”, our donors, KOTO alumni, and  our staff for supporting and making graduate’s dreams come true. Congratulations to graduates for their efforts and achievement, and we wish them the best.,” said KOTO CEO Dana McNairn.

Addressing the graduates and community at the commencement were special guests, Mr. John McAnulty AM, Consul General, Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City; Mr. Bertrand Courtois, General Manager, Sofitel Plaza Saigon; and Mr. Ben Hall, Chairman of the Board of Directors, EMpower.