United Minds

empowering the next generation  


Michal Duong 

Executive Director of MindLight 2013

Michal Duong  was born on October 1st, 1996 in Stargard Szczecinski in Poland. He studied for 8 years in Lycée Français de Varsovie. Later on, in 10thgrade, he transferred to the American School of Warsaw where he plans to finish high school. He mastered 4 languages (Vietnamese, Polish, French and English) and now tries to master Spanish. He has been practicing Kung Fu for ten years and has gained different belts. He got to the point where he teaches other students below his rank. He performed a lot throughout his career especially for the Polish audience, which wasn’t too familiar with the oriental arts. 

He was engaged in many volunteering activities, such as the Mind Light Project where he traveled with a group of people to Ho Chi Minh City to help visually impaired children in the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School. He did that twice in a row each summer and he became the Executive Director in the second year. The main objective for this project was to teach the children music, and since he knew how to play the guitar, he gave them some guitar lessons. He was also engaged in a project that involved helping Chechen refugee children in Warsaw. It was also a group project. The group donated a lot of things, such as clothing, school materials and food.

Besides practicing martial arts, he enjoys playing soccer, tennis and table tennis. He participated in several soccer tournaments.

He also plans to major in Management Information System studies because he wants to help others using technology.


Kung Fu has been a major part of Michal’s life since he was seven. The beginnings were tough; he cried a lot, was weak and overly sensitive. But after a couple of years, Michal started enjoying it more and more. Since then, he practiced regularly without missing any classes. He first got acknowledged at the age of ten when he got promoted from the Black Belt to a Black Belt with Green Stripes. Three years later, he got fully promoted to a Green Belt. At the age of fifteen, he received a Red Belt, the one reserved for experienced and dedicated practitioners. Michal is now his teacher’s main assistant. He leads beginning and intermediate level Kung Fu classes.                                                                   




This year, each of the eight teachers had one Key to Success to teach. Michal’s lesson was about COURAGE.  He taught children that all weaknesses could be changed into strengths.

One of the most important things in life is the courage to go out and try new things despite the possibility of failure. Nothing is impossible in life; the only thing needed is the willingness to try without the fear of failing. The courage to do something out of the ordinary is what helps people to improve their lives.” --Michal 


In summer 2012, the main objective of the MindLight project was to teach the visually impaired children about all kinds of different musical instruments, so it was all about music. Michal with his group taught the children everything about the brass instruments. The instruments he used for his lesson were trombone, trumpet, French horn and tuba. All the children did a great job in memorizing all the information he had provided. Besides teaching music appreciation and theory lessons, Michal taught guitar. He gave lessons to visually impaired children and adults.