First Viet-Am wins two Emmy awards

Leyna Nguyen was the first Vietnamese-American woman who won two Emmy awards at the 60th Annual Emmy Awards in September 6, 2008, after years of serving as a television anchor and reporter in the USA.

The awards were for hosting the “2007 Special Olympics Summer Games,” and “Heal the Bay”. She received the two awards just two months after giving birth to her second child.

Leyna Nguyen was born in 1969 in Dong Ha town, central Quang Tri province, Vietnam. She came to the United States with her family in 1975. She earned a degree in Mass Communications from Webster University in St. Louis where Leyna did “Morning Drive” for the jazz radio station WEBU during her studies.

After graduating, Leyna was a news anchor and reporter at KCRA in Sacramento, where she also hosted a quarterly program on Asian American issues. She started her television broadcast career at the CBS affiliate WRDW-TV in Augusta, Georgia. In 1987 she was crowned “Miss Asia” and in 1996 she was chosen “YWCA Woman of the Year”.

She came to KCAL-TV in Los Angeles in December 1997 as a weekend anchor and reporter, and distinguished herself as one of the station’s most able and popular news reporter.

Today, she is back with CBS, reporting for both KCBS and KCAL, in addition to anchoring weekend evening newscasts on KCAL.

In 1995, Leyna Nguyen was nominated for an Emmy Award for the first time for her report ‘Vietnam: The Journey Back’. She was nominated a second time for a report that brought a tear to her eyes when seeing a poor child needing an organ transplant in California. She has had a total of seven nominations.

Apart from success in her television career, Leyna Nguyen has also played supporting roles in several Hollywood films, including Paparazzi, Duplex, The Day After Tomorrow and the Price of Glory.

She was Master of Ceremonies for Miss Universe Vietnam 2007 and was also honoured as one of the “25 Most Influential Vietnamese-Americans in 25 Years” in 2000.

In 1991, Leyna Nguyen took part in numerous charity activities to help poor children in Vietnam. Since then, Leyna has built and renovated several schools in Vietnam through her non-profit foundation Love Across the Ocean, which benefits underprivileged children and their families.