At 18 years old, Phương Giang left her family and beloved land of Quảng Trị to come to Hồ Chí Minh City to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.
Giang grew up in a deteriorating house with a leaking roof covered by plastic, along with five other family members. Her father had passed away before he could see her face when she was born. Her mother, who is now elderly, remains in their hometown, raising a few chickens to earn a small income.
Giang promises to herself that she has not relentless striven forward, and she eventually won’t. Since entering university, Giang has always tried to be financially independent, covering her own study and living expenses. Currently, she offers tutoring sessions after school to accumulate experience and necessary skills for her profession. “When it comes to studying pedagogy, everyone assumes that we have good presentation skills, a clear voice, and confidence in front of an audience. I didn’t have those natural qualities, so I have to learn and improve everything.”
Moreover, Giang does freelance jobs, such as content writing, during flexible hours to challenge herself in a new sector. Occasionally, when Giang wants to surprise her mom, she sends her a small portion of her saved salary as a token of love and care from a daughter living far away. Nevertheless, she is always fully aware of the importance of higher education and prioritises her schooling.
I can be said that Giang excels in her time management ability. Giang admits she is neither a total nerd or a workaholic. Instead, she seeks opportunities to engage in social activities and networking. This year, she participated in the “Green Summer” volunteer campaign, Student Camp hosted by saigonchildren, and love-spreading projects in the Midlands and central highlands for those in need. She says, “our youth passes nonstop, that’s why we should live enthusiastically whenever possible”.
Phương Giang is one of the students from the first cohort supported by the international organisation U-Go in collaboration with saigonchildren in Vietnam, aiming to fulfill the dreams of underprivileged female students to attend university. In the academic year 2023-2024, it is planned that 130 new students will continue to be supported through this cooperation between U-Go and saigonchildren. These girls will also benefit from all the workshops, events, and opportunities that are available to saigonchildren post-high-school students.
“The scholarship is not only material support but also a boost to the spirit. It reminds me to keep striving ceaselessly. Because besides my own expectations, there’s also the trust of my family and the sponsors placed in me,” Giang shares. Certainly, with a positive mindset and her consistent effort to move forward, Giang will soon find the right path to reach her cherished dreams.