Graduation Is Latest Proof For Vietnamese Family That Dreams Come
True In America
7, 1999 -- Quan Vu's forthcoming graduation from
the University of Virginia shows the importance of having dreams.
His parents' dreams of a better life helped the family overcome
severe difficulties in South Vietnam and gave them the courage to
start anew in America.
1975, Quan's father, Ut Vu, a lieutenant colonel in the South Vietnamese
Army, was imprisoned by the Communists. After three years, he was
released, but soon was reimprisoned and forced to do hard labor
in a concentration camp. In 1981, when Ut Vu was thought to be nearly
dead -- exhausted by malaria, jaundice and malnutrition -- the Communists
Lanh Vo, Quan's mother and a gynecologist, was unable to practice
medicine while her husband was imprisoned because his name was on
a government black list. During his six years of captivity, she
and her two young sons lived with grandparents. Following her husband's
release, Lanh Vo nursed him back to health and regained her employment.
In 1993, after a 10-year legal battle, the family was allowed to
leave Vietnam to reunite with relatives in America.
move to America was hard for Quan and his brother Truong, who were
16 and 19 at the time, because they did not speak English. But they
had motivation to learn. "My dad and mom inspired me. Their paths
had failed so many times, yet they clung to their dreams. They gave
me the inspiration to work harder," said Quan, noting that his parents
now work as inventory clerks at a large retail store in Fairfax,
language, cultural barriers and tight finances, the boys thrived.
Truong graduated from George Mason University in 1997.
graduate of Fairfax High School, Quan will earn a B.S. in biochemistry
from U.Va. on May 23 with an anticipated GPA of 3.8. Following graduation,
he will take a major step toward fulfilling his dream of becoming
a doctor; he has been accepted into U.Va.'s medical school.
his years as an undergraduate, Quan realized another dream. Fearful
that the language and culture of his native country was being lost,
he volunteered to teach a Vietnamese language class at U.Va. Serving
as a volunteer teaching assistant, Quan was pleased to see as
as 40 students in the class. He has taught the class for the past
three years and also served as president of the Vietnamese Students
is an excellent student and a great role model for me and many other
students at U.Va.," said fourth-year student Khang Duy Le. "Despite
many barriers, he has come a long way."
attributes the ability to realize his goals to the importance of
having dreams. "Dreams give you the incentive to persevere. In America
we've had the freedom to pursue our dreams and we've learned that
with hard work, dreams come true."
more information, contact Quan Vu at (804) 979-1444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857.