Nguyen Trong Tin has gone through a transformative experience one could describe as a miracle of good fortune. Settled in Can Gio, Saigon, his family had undergone crisis amidst his high school years. During that time, his sister was also attending college; thus, the financial strains on the family caused a great deal of stress. Her sister was forced to drop her educational career to try to earn money and pay off debts of the family while Tin’s grades consistently plummeted. However, in what seemed like a bleak future and a period of dire desperation, VietHope’s Merit scholarship served as a lifeline to Tin’s family, providing them with enough money for him to continue his education from 6th grade through 12th grade.
The summer following his 6th grade year, Tin participated in group bonding with staff members of VietHope along with other students who had also received the scholarship. Tin described it as a life-changing experience that transformed him into a man of dedication and heart. He will never forget the summer during which his character underwent significant changes through a rejuvenating process of mental and emotional growth with the direct help of VietHope volunteers and the indirect help of US donors. Over that summer, VietHope members would come to his house and remind him that he truly can continue on his path of education in the spirit of learning without having to worry about his family while teaching him teambuilding skills. Rain or shine, staff members continued to drop by his house even in summers after; VietHope truly left an imprint of hope on Tin’s heart. Tin to this day can still recall VietHope volunteers like Phong, My, and Ms. Thuy Fujimoto who shared with him words of wisdom during times of hardship that kept his fiery spirit burning. In the following grades of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade, Tin’s academic achievements improved significantly and he competed in his region against other top students to obtain a spot in a top class of hardworking students in high school.
Yet, as mentioned, his family finances were not sufficient for both his sister and his college educations. Luckily, Thanh, a VietHope volunteer whose name Tin also readily recalls, called to inform him about the USP scholarship to support his college education while his sister works. Touched and left speechless, Trong promises to try to become what VietHope wishes him to be, what members like Phong, My, Thuy, and Thanh hope he can become, and what so many other students like him may not have the chance to be. Not only has VietHope supported his and his family’s life financially, but his experience during that one summer changed him forever and for the better. Now attending Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology, he has written a letter of gratitude to the VietHope volunteers and the operation involving many US donors, providing his share of words proving that all of VietHope’s efforts have not gone in vain but rather towards a pure and great cause filled with compassion and love–a hope that Tin wishes VietHope can confer to future generations of unfortunate Vietnamese individuals.