It has been a huge blessing for me to get to know many people from Vietnam living in my city. Many have been my students. I always look forward to joining them for cultural celebrations such as for Lunar New Year.
We have Vietnamese restaurants and markets in my city. I love to eat a rice noodle soup called Pho.
The work ethic is strong in the Vietnamese community and education is highly valued. It is common to see my Vietnamese friends work hard, save money, and buy houses. For the families that came as refugees, the parents work hard in places like meat packing plants and focus on making sure their children get a good education.
It was my privilege to help a group of young people from Vietnam with their English and to prepare for college.It started as a small group of me with three teenage boys. Then two more came. Then a sixth one joined and we switched from meeting at the library to meeting at my church for a larger room. At one point we had an average attendance of about 14 each weekend afternoon.
It was a blessing for me to be able to go with them to New Student Enrollment at the university here as their “parent” due to their parents having to work or not knowing enough English to be able to understand. It was my privilege to help them with scholarship applications and college applications.
There were fun moments too. I will never forget the first time they asked me if we could have a party and not study because it was Christmas break from school. They told me they would bring the food. The food ended up being candy, chips, soda, and other snack foods. 🙂
From this group, one is now an Architect, one has her MBA and CPA and has a great career, one got a degree in Computer Science, one just graduated from Pharmacy school and got her license to be a Pharmacist, four others are in Pharmacy school now, others are in Nursing programs, got degrees in engineering, and one is currently in Medical School and will be a doctor in the future.
I feel it is important to share about them because they worked so hard to achieve. Also it is important to understand that while yes at first refugee families need assistance, the benefit to our country in the U.S. in the future is tremendous.
My group of young friends did not forget their old teacher. Last year while I was having trouble due to chronic illness, they blessed me with a gift that helped me make it through the summer. I shared a post last year- A Breakthrough Thanks to My Friends. This year in the summer I hit another rough patch and they have blessed me again.
If you have the good fortune to meet a refugee family here, remember the children may very well end up being your doctor, pharmacist, accountant, architect, nurse, computer programmer etc in the future. 🙂
Thank you for reading. God Bless. 🙂