Hue’s Story

VFA is committed to students like Hue as they try to realize their dreams and pursue their own paths to success. Join us in standing up for these students by contributing to our GiveBIG campaign on Tuesday, May 6. GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations like VFA who make Seattle a healthier and more vital place to live. Each donation will receive a prorated portion of the matching funds by The Seattle Foundation.

Hue was named after the city she was born in, the ancient imperial capital of Vietnam. While growing up in Vietnam, her father could not work due to medical issues from war wounds. Her mother struggled to find temporary jobs as a hired laborer. They came here hoping that Hue and her older brother could get a better education, and from there – a better life.

Hue (upper left, standing in olive green jacket) with a few of her peers and mentor, Quynh-An (bottom left) from the VFA Job Training Program

Hue (upper left, standing in olive green jacket) with a few of her peers and mentor, Quynh-An (bottom left) from the VFA Job Training Program

When Hue arrived in Seattle in 2011, she did not know any English. Although she was entering 12th grade in Vietnam, she had to start in 9th grade here. With her parents unable to find work due to medical issues and no English skills, Hue and her brother struggled daily with the question of whether to stay in school or drop out to try and find jobs to support their family. Seeking support, Hue enrolled in VFA’s Job Training program. The program supports low-income recently-arrived Vietnamese families through academic support, job readiness training, parent engagement, and case management to youth and their parents.

Today, a year later, not every problem has been solved but things are changing. Hue’s father is still unable to work due to medical issues. But both her mother and brother are taking full-time ELL and vocational classes to find gainful employment upon completion. They still only have one very small bed in the kitchen because there is no other room in the house. Yet, the future is bright. Hue will soon graduate from Franklin High School with strong grades. She has work experience after successfully completing an internship through the Job Program. She is preparing to enter community college. She knows that she wants to be a pharmacist. She always has the courage to smile, even on the hardest of days. Her advice to incoming students? “Just keep trying.”