First of all, I would like to sincerely wish good health to my dear ladies and gentlemen in the VNSF Foundation. I am Phan Thi Dan Khoa. Since I came into being, I had suffered a deprived childhood caused by poverty and discomforts that no one else wants to experience. My mother died of illness when I was six years old. My father is a disabled war veteran and has not been able to find a permanent job; therefore, he has to settle for temporary jobs to make ends meet. When I turned seven, my father remarried, but our family still lived in poverty and we had difficult time to earn enough money to pay for school tuition. We then resorted to our grandparents and our youngest aunt to help our family escape our dire circumstance. I love my grandparents and my aunt so much because they tried their best to support us even though they too were poor and could barely support themselves through their low income. Everyday I would help auntie with chores around the house and also spend time taking care of my grandparents who are in their 80’s. Recently my older sister got accepted into college which put even more stress on auntie to find ways to make more money to pay for both of our tuitions. I’m very grateful for my auntie because even though she has to work very hard and has endured so much hardship, she always encourages and pushes me and my sister to study harder. The good news came when we found out that VNSF had decided to give me a scholarship and because of this scholarship, I was able to continue my education until today.
Your scholarship has helped our family tremendously, specifically it has helped relieve a lot of the pressure from my auntie who has sacrificed so much for us. I promise that I will study harder and be an even better student than I am now in order to justify your trust in me, to make my family proud and to contribute to the betterment of our society in the future.
Phan Thi Dan Khoa
Translated by Ken Tran