VNSF updates: We did not forget about you.

Dear friends,

Some of you have asked me why you haven’t received your invitation to the VNSF fall dinner gala. Rest assured, we didn’t forget you! We have postponed the event until spring. Your invitation will arrive in a few months. Until then, please kindly mark your calendar:


Saturday, May 11, 2019, 6:00 p.m. Mercer Island Community Center

The seeds of generosity you have planted through VNSF are bearing much fruit.

  • Almost 500 children are in school through VNSF scholarships. This fall we distributed scholarships in Saigon, Tien Giang, An Giang, Hau Giang, Dong Thap, and Bac Lieu.
  • The number of children receiving scholarships continues to increase. Last year we awarded 25% more new scholarships than the number of scholarships that were ending the same year.
  • At our “Sweet Sixteen” anniversary dinner, you helped us break the $100,000 barrier for the second time in our history!

But the success of our mission has come at a cost. As the number of students has increased, so has the work of running the programs. Sustained growing pains threatened to overwhelm our hard-working all-volunteer board. Some long-serving board members and volunteers experienced burnout.

This spring we welcomed several new faces. Joining board veterans Gary Ly and Alina Tran were long-time VNSF volunteers and supporters Nhung Le, Phong Dang, and Michael Bunney. And 2018 saw the return to the board of two of the founders of VNSF, Michael Grainger and Tam Nguyen.

The board made a day-long retreat in May and looked hard at our challenges. We laid out a strategy to restructure VNSF to meet tomorrow’s needs. Since then, we’ve been working to develop these plans.

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and we look forward to sharing with you a new and exciting vision for VNSF’s future.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you do for young people in Viet Nam. Together we are changing lives and futures.

Kindest regards,

2018-12-02 Letter to Supporters-2

Tam Nguyen and the VNSF Board

Welcome Back to School!

This year, VNSF welcomes back to school 127 NEW students into our scholarship program!  Last spring, we interviewed 130 students and while we only budgeted to accept 120 students, we ended up accepting nearly all the students.  It’s hard to say no to such promising students who are in such dire need of financial stability so they can complete their education. We’ll just have to fundraise all the harder to help support the 618 scholarship students still currently enrolled in our scholarship program.

With this year’s new students, we’ve crossed a huge milestone.  Since we started in 2001, we’ve helped over 1000 students continue their education through our on-going scholarship program! We couldn’t have done it without the generous support from our wonderful donors who believe in the power of education to make real and lasting change.  Thank you!!

Live Auction Preview! King Salmon Fishing! #benefitGala2017 #vnsf

Do you love salmon? If you win this auction item, you plus 2 guests get to join Dr. Hoang Truong on a salmon fishing trip!  Dr. Hoang really knows his stuff. Check out the size of those fish! Lunch, snacks and drinks are provided so you won’t go hungry catching your dinner.

Come to VNSF’s BENEFIT GALA on September 9th to bid on this amazing item! Register today:…

Thank you, Dr. Hoang Truong & Dr. Khanh Nguyen, for this amazing donation!



Long Provincial & Tamarind Tree Restaurants A Gold Sponsor!

Huge thanks to Long Provincial, a Gold Sponsor of this year’s VNSF Benefit Event. Long Provincial and Tamarind Tree have been a long-time donor & support of VNSF as well as our exclusive caterer since the very beginning!  Many thanks for your continued support!



Natasha Chen – Award-winning KIRO 7 TV journalist will Emcee this year!

natasha-chenWe are very excited to announce that Natasha Chen will be this year’s emcee at VNSF’s Annual Benefit Event!

Natasha Chen is an Emmy-award winning journalist at KIRO 7 TV, where she covers housing, affordability and city hall.

Natasha is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and is thrilled to be back on the West Coast. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, with a B.A. in psychology and minor in creative writing. She received her M.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California, where she produced her thesis on Taiwanese democracy, featuring an exclusive interview with the president of Taiwan.

Natasha speaks fluent Mandarin and some rusty French, loves to bake cupcakes, tap dance and sing. She was recently seen on stage at Kitsap Forest Theater, where she played Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”

Selecting This School Year’s Scholarship Recipients!

We’re reviewing 207 scholarship applicants to select which kids will receive our on-going scholarships starting this Fall! We’ve budgeted to accept 150 students this year — the most scholarships we’ve given out in a single year!

How often do we deny a student? As you can imagine, it’s very hard to deny any student a scholarship especially when most live in the conditions shown above. But there are some key things we look for to make sure every student we accept is deserving of our donors’ investment in their education. Our scholarships are for a student’s entire education (even through college), so we screen our applicants very carefully. We look for 3 key things when reviewing all applicants:

  1. Financial neediness. We conduct interviews in the family’s homes and get an understanding for the family’s financial situation — how much the household income is, how many people are supported by that income, how much debt the family has, etc.
  2. Academic standing. While we aren’t a merit based scholarship, we do want to make sure our students are passing each year and are performing at the average level compared to their peers.
  3. Motivation. This is big for us. We try very hard to assess through interviews and essays how driven the student is to go to school and do well. We want to make sure every kid we accept values education and will be supported by their family to complete their education.

We’re excited to welcome a new cohort of students into the VNSF Scholarship Program!

VNSF Raises Record-Breaking $100,000 to Benefit Children in Viet Nam

Viet Nam Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce that it raised a record breaking $100,000 during its 2015 Benefit Dinner. This represents a 43% increase compared to the 2014 Annual Benefit Dinner.

“We are extremely grateful to our very generous donors, who didn’t hesitate to give all they could to help underprivileged children in Viet Nam pursue a better future through education. The donations enable VNSF to secure the education of the 571 students we currently have enrolled, including the 93 new students accepted for the 2015-16 school year, and also accept new students into our program.” said Gary Ly, Chair of the Board of Directors for VNSF.

VNSF gives on-going scholarship; once a student is given scholarship it’s not just for 1 year, it’s for the rest of their education.

The cost for sending all 571 current students to school so they complete a 4-year university degree would take 16 years and $650,000 (not adjusting for inflation). VNSF youngest scholars are in 2nd grade. VNSF objective for the next two years is to reach 1,000 enrolled scholars.

Through the years, VNSF had 64 students who graduated high school, and 46 students who graduated university, college or vocational school. Each VNSF scholar who graduates becomes a role model for his community, and the proof that with a little bit of help, and a lot of dedication and work, they can overcome the barrier of poverty, and build a better future for themselves and their family.

“A heartfelt thank you to all of our supporters, donors, volunteers, board members and everyone who made the event possible.”

For more pictures please visit our Facebook Page.

VNSF benefit