Mai Minh Nhat, 23 years old, is an audit student who recently graduated from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in October 2020. Saigonchildren has accompanied Nhat on his journey for six years, from high school till university graduation. Nhat is now working as an auditor for a company in District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.
With Nhat’s father passing since he was at a young age and the low income from growing crops, the family has faced many financial difficulties. When he entered 11th grade, a teacher encouraged him to apply for saigonchildren’s scholarship program.
“At first I was shy and worried, but my teacher told me just to try and see, there will be even more difficulties once I enter University. So, I applied anyway and fortunately was accepted” – Nhat said.
When he entered University, he moved to Saigon and continued to be supported with saigonchildren’s scholarship, which partially reduced the financial burdens on the family. University tuition fees are around 16 million VND a year, so despite being a scholarship recipient, part of the fee still had to be supported by his family. In his first two years, Nhat also worked part-time jobs to help support his mum, but that affected his studies and grades. Thus, in his third year, Nhat decided to focus on studying and participating in extracurricular activities.
Nhat shares: “First year was extremely difficult as I had to learn about military and a lot of general subjects – I failed all my exams, had to pay a fee to retake the exams, so at that time, I felt quite depressed. I wanted to return home because I’ve spent so much money, my mum cried and tried to advise me, I also confided a lot in the brothers and sisters from saigonchildren. After that, a sister from saigonchildren invited me to participate in some activities with her. That was the first time I participated in an extracurricular activity. I saw how talented the other students were. They have been exposed to a lot of things, so they know a lot of things; I thought to myself, if I quit school and went home now, I would never develop to be as talented as them, and I would see and experience less of the world. After that, I was motivated to do my best in my studies.”
Nhat has grown a lot and actively participates in school activities such as in the student support center, connecting students with businesses, and some other collaborative activities. Furthermore, he is also a dedicated volunteer for saigonchildren, a part of the student representative committee of saigonchildren, fundraising programmes management board, and student camp organizer in 2019.
He is proud of himself, not only for contributing to society but also for learning new skills through workshops and events. He has been able to demonstrate his management skills and communicate and interact with more people.
Currently, Nhat is an auditor, studying further and improving the skills needed for the industry. In the future, he plans to return home to his family. His mother’s health continues to weaken – she has to visit the hospital for check-ups often and has to take a lot of medication. Because of this, Nhat hopes to save some money to support his mother.
“I think that, although I may not be excellent yet, I’m in a much better place than I was four years ago”, Nhat proudly shares.
Six years is a long journey. Saigonchildren was lucky enough to witness Nhat’s growth and perseverance. Currently, Nhat is no longer a saigonchildren scholarship recipient – he has an income and is able to support himself, and partly support his family. However, Nhat is still a member who has contributed greatly to saigonchildren. On the journey to self-development and discovery, saigonchildren is confident that Nhat will achieve even greater things in the future.