Humans of Augie: Telling the stories of the Augie Community

Katherine Hogan

Recently, Augustana sophomore Duy Nguyen started a “Humans of Augie” Instagram page that highlights specific people within the Augustana community and telling their unique stories.

Nguyen talked about why he started the Augie-centric Instagram page.

“I wanted there to be a space for people to go and see that the people of Augustana are really talented and that they are doing really interesting, provocative stuff and to feel like they can do it too,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen’s vision for his “Humans of Augie” Instagram is that incoming first years will see the page and be inspired to strive to be as successful as they can be in their new college environment.

Overall, Nguyen hopes to promote creativity and encourage students to thrive.

If this idea seems familiar, that might be because Nguyen was inspired by the Facebook page Humans of New York.

Nguyen says that he was inspired by the inpromptu-ness of the Humans of New York page.

“With Humans of New York, there is a sense of spontaneity to it—they literally just walk around and interview random people in the street and every single one of them never fails to amaze. That says something about human nature and how everyone has stories to tell and all we need to do is ask them,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen also talked about his process for picking out his subjects for the page.

“I usually ask people who they want to see [on the page]. Sometimes I already know in my day to day who I think has an interesting story—like my custodian. I don’t talk to him that much, but I feel like a guy like that, with his job position, has stories,” Nguyen said.

One person who appeared on Nguyen’s Humans of Augie Instagram page is sophomore Talayah Lemon.  Nguyen interviewed Lemon about G.I.F.T. (Giving In Faith Together), a nonprofit project she started to help the homeless.

“I felt very honored to be interviewed by Duy. I wanted my story to be well known and heard about, so actually being interviewed about it made me happy because more people will know about my project,” Lemon said.

Another person who appeared on Nguyen’s page is sophomore Genesis Li, who talked about her experience at Augie as an international student, some of her traditions, and the Chinese New Year.

“As soon as I got the message from about the interview, I thought that it would be a good way to promote diversity,” Li said.

Overall, Li appreciates the “Humans of Augie” Instagram page because it promotes creativity and diversity.

“It is definitely a really creative way of having this conversation at Augie. It is really interesting to see all the different kinds of humans around campus, as well as the different places they come from. Also, I know that the creator is an international student so I think it is very inspiring that he is doing this,” Li said.

Nguyen hopes to continue the tradition of the page once he leaves Augustana.

“I am going to pass it down to someone who has the same passion as me; who wants to tell stories,” Nguyen said.

While Nguyen is also a photographer and has a separate page where he showcases his photography, he feels that the “Humans of Augie” isn’t really about photography—it is about community.

If you’re interested in following the page, you can follow @humans_of_augie_ .

Nguyen is also always looking for interested parties who would like to help interview people for the page, so those who have a passion for telling stories should feel free to contact him.