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Kansas Association of Migrant Directors

2003 Scholarship Winners

Anh Hoang, Salina
Bao-Tran Nguyen, Liberal

Phuong Tao T Le, Wichita
Ana Guadalupe Montanez, Ulysses
Anh Truc Ngoc Nguyen, Shawnee

2003 Gerry VanDaveer Scholarship Winner

Anh Hoang, from Salina, Kansas

"I came to the United States from a poor country called Vietnam. It's almost as a third country because of its wealth. Not knowing a word of English I struggled my way through life. But, I taught myself one valuable thing, that is, to set myself higher than anyone. By setting myself higher doesn't mean to have more pride in me, because it's my downfall. But, by challenging myself would help me leap further into my ideal way of life, a life of success.

"I could never forget my biggest challenge in life, the language. Being born in a poor immigrant family, we couldn't afford to live in a nice neighborhood; so we had to settle in a neighborhood full of drugs and gang activities. I studied almost everyday in my little room. Studying only helped half of what I do know now. The other half depended heavily on interaction. I hung out with the people in the neighborhood not because I wanted to be like them; but because I wanted to learn how to speak English from them. Of course, sometimes I was tempted by those people to do drugs, but I could never be separated from my goals in life. They quit trying after a while. School also taught me a lot of English as I was struggling at first. But after four years of hardship in learning the language, I transformed into a whole new person. I felt so good when I overcame the biggest challenge of my life. I was able to interact with everybody; but I still have a lot more to learn.

"School plays a big part in my life. Since the day my English was much better, I started taking much harder classes to advance myself. High school is competitive. I compete with other classmates by taking the hardest classes that I could. Sometimes my grades suffer because some classes are not in my greatest strength such as English and History. I can handle math and science really well because I love them. They're considered to be my best subjects. But advanced English and AP History would prepare me for college even if they're not my best subjects. When I look back, I feel so proud of myself that I've made it this far. All of the people I hung out with are ended up in jail or suffer from overdose drug usage somehow. I feel so blessed of being in the top ten percent of my graduating class. All of the effort I put in was really worth it.

"My plan for college is straightforward. I only have one path in college, and I determine to achieve it, and may God guide me. The only plan I have for college is to get through four years of Pre-med and try to get into a medical school. Then, from there I want to become a doctor. I used to think being a doctor would bring me lot of money and respects from people, but I never thought about how I would treat my patients. But, being through three internships changed my mind completely. I saw young, old people lying in bed suffering of diseases and waiting to die. I felt a sorrow in my heart because I knew that my beloved parents would be like that someday, and I would eventually end up the same. I feel hurt to see people suffer and I nothing to offer but my skills and training as a doctor if I ever going to become one. My principles are worth much more than money to me now because I know how it feels to suffer.

"I knew I was brought over to America for a good cause. By trying hard in school would help me advance much better in life. I set goals for myself to be successful someday because it would be a big waste of not taking advantage of being here. But, going to college is a big pain. There will be two people in college that my parents have to support and it means that I once again have to get through another big challenge by struggling my way through it. I hope you could consider me for this scholarship and I thank you for taking your time reading this letter."

2003 Gerry VanDaveer Scholarship Winner

Bao-Tran Nguyen, from Liberal, Kansas

"My main goal right now is to further my education at the University of Kansas. I would like to major in Computer Programming. Because technology is a growing part of our economy and our lives, I will base my career on computers. I would like to be a successful woman in a business that males are likely to excel. I also want to build a career where finances will not be a problem for my family. I want to be able to give my children everything they desire as well as furthering their education. And of course, as a woman, I want to also be a house maker. I would like to care for and make a happy home for my family and myself for years to come. Throughout my life my parents have played a very important role. They have always been there to support me, no matter what I have decided to do. My family and I regard education as the most important steppingstone to a brighter future. I am Vietnamese and I have lived in the United States since I was eight years old. My parents have emphasized, time and time again, the significance of our culture and instilled those values into my life. I also want to excel and be the first of my family to complete a higher education. Above all, I wanted to make my parents proud of what I can accomplish."

2003 Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarship Winner

Phuong Thao T Le, from Wichita, Kansas

"My name is Phuongthao Le: I am senior of East high school. My goals are trying to get the good scores and graduate in this year. After I graduated, I will come to the college, which is WSU. The major that I chose is become a doctor. It is my dream when I was the childhood, because in my country Vietname, there are a lot of poor people, they didn't have the money to come to the hospital or to buy the medicine, and the result is they died by the disease. From that I always determined to become a doctor to help the people around me. I want to bring all ability to help the people around me, especially is the poor people, the older people and the children.

"The dream is only the dream, but I will strive to make it become the true. I hope after I graduate college I'll open the consulting room to examine for the patient and through it can help a lot of people."

2003 Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarship Winner

Ana Guadalupe Montanez, from Ulysses, Kansas

"My goal is to enroll at the Kansas University to get my Bachelor's degree in computer engineering. At the present time the world depends upon the computer system and devices. I have chosen computer engineer as part of my career because of my eagerness to learn how to create new systems and operate them for various purposes. My desire is to work in a computer software and hardware company. As a long-range goal, I would like to be part of a corporate company."

2003 Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarship Winner

Anh Truc Ngoc Nguyen, from Shawnee, Kansas

"I like to go to school, have contact with teachers and friends and learn new knowledge. I realize that the more education I get, the better job I will receive. So, I would like to go to college where I can excel and grow. I also want to learn more after college, because I would like to get a stable, interesting job so that I can give something to society."



The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to a qualified student in an English to Speakers of Other Languages or a bilingual program in order to further their post-secondary education.

For more information on either the Gerry VanDaveer Scholarship or the Kansas ESOL/Bilingual Education Scholarship, please contact Cynthia Adcock (Cynthia.Adcock@usd305.com) or Ron Johnson (rjohnson@ksde.org).

This page was last updated on 06/12/07.