In one lovely autumn’s morning; tiny, beautiful, yellow leaves, of the commonly know “Student’s Flower” Tree, filled the playground of Nhung’s old school, Nhung got to the school's gate, feeling a little nostalgic as she looked at her high school once more. All the memories of school suddenly came flooding back: the stone bench she used to sit to revise on, the ordered line of palm trees around the playground, and the classrooms being full of lively students.
It’s was 8:40AM and Nhung saw some young students standing outside the school’s conference room. Taking a deep breath, she walked directly to the room, where she once received her first scholarship years before from Saigon Children's Charity (SCC). The day marked 6 years since that day and now she has recently graduated. Nhung came back to share her studying experiences to help younger children just starting at in high school.
Nhung is one of more than 2000 SCC scholarship recipients and yet, she really shore at school due to the great deal of effort she put into her studies. Nhung's performance at school was always excellent even though she suffered from a physical disability. Unfortunately when Nhung was born, she had a tumour on her leg. Given the situation, her parents moved from Tien Giang province to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to earn, as hired labours, whatever money they could to help their daughter. As a result, Nhung had surgery to remove the tumor which sadly resulted in her losing one of her legs. She had to overcome many difficulties to adjust to her new life, which now included an artificial limb. Her friends and teachers kept encouraging Nhung to continue to go to school and, with support, she adopted the attitude of “if other people can do it, so can I.” During the next 12 years, Nhung studied in school and achieved excellent results. With her wish of becoming a cartoon artist, she spent a lot of time practicing and studying art. However, her family could not afford the extra curriculum to continue her career aspirations, and in grade twelve she disappointingly stopped.
However, it wasn’t only art that Nhung was successful at; she also excelled at literature, winning two gold medals in her school's Olympic Literature Contest in 2013 and 2014. Coming from the background she has, Nhung has another passion, to help other disadvantaged people like her. When leaving high school, without hesitation, she made a decision to apply to the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities to study Psychology. In June 2015, SCC also encouraged her to apply for another scholarship from RMIT Vietnam, one of the top universities in the country, with SCC as a reference. Nhung bravely wrote a compelling essay about her achievements despite her life's hardships and is awaiting a response.
Back at her high school, Nhung was very eager to share what she had learnt from her days in school. She even passed on studies techniques to help her fellow students achieve high grades in some subjects like maths, chemistry and physics, welcoming any questions they had. Although time was limited, her sharing seemed so deep and from the heart. She also encouraged the next generation to surpass notions of poverty and to keep trying hard and focus on studying. Nhung also concluded how thankful she was to her generous sponsors and appreciated all that SCC has done for her. SCC has enjoyed accompanying her for so many years, and it was great to see how mature she had become as she spoke to the younger students about the importance of education.
Nhung is the second one, from the left of the standing line
Pham Thi Thu