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Thao Ly, who graduated with an affiliate in science and an associate in arts, was the North Carolina Local community Faculty Procedure Educational Excellence Award receiver for Surry Community School in 2020-2021.

SCC President Dr. David Shockley fulfilled with Ly in a non-public ceremony given that she was unable to go to the Might 2021 graduation due to the fact she was transferring to the West Coast. She was specified a commemorative gold medal and a letter of congratulations from the North Carolina Local community School System’s president, Thomas Stith III. Ly had a 4. GPA and was on the President’s Listing each individual semester she attended SCC.

Each spring, one particular scholar from each of the 58 community faculties in the North Carolina Group Faculty Process is regarded for excellence in academics. In accordance to the system’s internet site, variety of the educational excellence award recipient is based on a one assortment from every single college or university. Assortment is regular with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Culture standards and incorporates the recipient currently being enrolled and possessing concluded at least 12 semester hours in an affiliate degree method with a cumulative quality place average of no a lot less than 3.25. Faculties could use added scholarship criteria beyond these minimum demands.

Ly’s journey to Surry Neighborhood Faculty was anything at all but typical. Her mom, Phuong N. Nguyen and father, Hung V. Dang, shocked her five yrs back declaring they ended up leaving their home in Vietnam to make positive she acquired an fantastic instruction. “One working day, my moms and dads just told me that we would transfer to the States for superior odds and for a better life as very well as a much better long run,” Ly said.

“When we initially moved to the States, we lived in Rochester, New York,” she claimed. “It was a lovely metropolis with vibrant leaves in the autumn and crystal snow in the winter season. It just occurred so rapidly, so all of a sudden and when I initially arrived, I experienced no concept what college I would go to. I bear in mind getting metropolis buses with my mother close to the city to discover a suitable large college for me. At the time, it price tag additional than $10,000 a year to go to a non-public high school in Rochester.”

Ly made a decision to show up at a community superior school, University Devoid of Partitions. In addition to university, she also went to Rochester Public Library to show up at totally free English classes. “And there, I achieved my everyday living savior, Mrs. Chojy Schroeder, a retired English teacher and board member of the Rochester City Faculty District,” Ly said.

“She acknowledged my dedication to and enthusiasm for training, so she released me to the Regents Examinations. I gathered apply issues on the internet and researched by myself for nearly two months ahead of using the Regents Exams,” Ly explained. “I handed these tests with such superior scores that I was then positioned in twelfth quality.”

Ly was in tenth grade when she experienced still left her dwelling in Vietnam. “And like a wonder, I turned a superior college senior. I skipped eleventh grade.”

Her large scores on the Regents Exams also helped her receive a scholarship to show up at Our Woman of Mercy Faculty for Young Gals in Rochester. She had only been attending College With no Partitions for a handful of weeks.

“During my senior year at Our Lady of Mercy, I received a opportunity to make lasting friendships and participate in numerous volunteer activities” Ly claimed. “I volunteered at InterVol, in which I served kind out, organize, pack, and distribute clinical materials. I also volunteered at the College of Rochester, where by I became a math and chemistry tutor for pupils in grades sixth by way of ninth.

“Additionally, for the duration of my senior year at Our Lady of Mercy, I did my senior undertaking on antacids and how these medications operate to minimize heartburn. I been given a Chemistry Accomplishment Award from American Chemical Modern society that 12 months,” explained Ly.

Ly observed herself in Dobson when her parents signed a contract with Wayne Farms to deliver immigration sponsorship for her relatives to transfer to the U.S. Due to the fact her mother and father do not converse significantly English, Ly was much too nervous to go to a four-calendar year college/college, leaving her mother and father alone in North Carolina.

“My mom was a trainer in Vietnam and so, operating at Wayne Farms, a chicken manufacturing facility, was mentally a obstacle for her. As she is getting older now, her health and fitness is not as superior as right before. It would be way too egocentric of me to go away my mom alone operating at the rooster factory to attend a boarding college/higher education at that time.”

Ly ongoing, “The second I decided to keep in North Carolina and show up at SCC was the second I realized that I actually grew up by some means. I’m a female with major dreams and ambitions, but I always make guaranteed to place my loved ones first beneath any situation. Honestly, I’m just so grateful for obtaining a likelihood to research in the U.S., and for me, we can review wherever as very long as we have a enthusiasm for studying to broaden our horizons.”

She discussed how she acquired to talk English. “Many men and women could possibly assume that I attended some sort of academy to understand English just before coming to the U.S.,” reported Ly. “I spent my elementary and center-faculty yrs in the countryside of the small province in Vietnam. There weren’t many sources or amenities for English-understanding options.”

Ly remembers learning and strengthening her English primarily by seeing flicks and Television reveals such as “Harry Potter,” “Wizards of Waverly Put,” and “Criminal Minds,” some of her favorites. She also listened to Taylor Swift music.

She also remembers researching 20 to 30 vocabulary words and carrying out English exercise routines by herself every day. “I also enhanced my English techniques through touring to overseas countries with my mothers and fathers,” Ly explained.

While at SCC, Ly was quite active in pupil functions. She was named to The Countrywide Culture of Management and Results where by she been given the National Engaged Chief Award. She was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Culture, the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, and the Golden Critical Worldwide Honor Society. While at Surry, she served program and coordinate fundraisers and activities for organizations these kinds of as the Minimal Cost-free Pantry, the Care Closet, Halloween Spooktacular, and the Yearly Surry’s Bought Expertise.

She also volunteered as a training assistant in the SCC Science Section commencing in the drop semester of 2020. In that role, she assisted the professors and pupils with understanding product and lab functions in science classes which include standard biology, microbiology, standard chemistry, and natural chemistry.

“Taking on the function of a educating assistant in the SCC Science Division, I hoped to aid students stay encouraged, empowered, and focused even with the issues and problems during the pandemic,” Ly mentioned. “I also hoped to support the professors retain a stimulating classroom atmosphere all through this difficult time.”

As portion of the software method for the Educational Excellence Award, Ly wrote an essay “My Heart Has Never Been This Full” describing her encounters at Surry Local community University stating that they “far exceeded my prayers and anticipations.”

“During my time at Surry, I lost, failed, succeeded, cried, laughed, loved and above all, I discovered,” claimed Ly. “I discovered not only new information and expertise, but I also learned how to care for other individuals and generate as lots of significant moments as attainable. Surry has served me perceive that there is one detail greater than reaching the major in lifetime: Achieving down and helping an individual else increase to the similar level.”

She programs to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and a doctoral diploma in pharmaceutical sciences at a school or university on the West Coast.

“Since we very first came to The us, we have been through a good deal, but to me, all these experiences have turned me into a much better particular person and designed me exclusive in my personal way. Most individuals despise the term ‘Impossible,’ but I particularly like this phrase: If you break the term down, it means that ‘I’m attainable.’ To me, everything is probable if we set our mind to it.”