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Thao Ly, who graduated with an affiliate in science and an affiliate in arts, was the North Carolina Group Higher education Program Educational Excellence Award receiver for Surry Local community School in 2020-2021.

SCC President Dr. David Shockley achieved with Ly in a non-public ceremony considering that she was unable to attend the Could 2021 graduation since she was transferring to the West Coast. She was given a commemorative gold medal and a letter of congratulations from the North Carolina Local community College System’s president, Thomas Stith III. Ly had a 4. GPA and was on the President’s List every semester she attended SCC.

Just about every spring, one particular student from each and every of the 58 local community schools in the North Carolina Neighborhood Higher education Process is acknowledged for excellence in lecturers. In accordance to the system’s site, range of the tutorial excellence award recipient is based on a one variety from each college or university. Variety is regular with Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society requirements and contains the recipient becoming enrolled and having accomplished at the very least 12 semester hrs in an associate degree software with a cumulative quality level normal of no significantly less than 3.25. Faculties could use supplemental scholarship conditions past these minimum prerequisites.

Ly’s journey to Surry Community Higher education was just about anything but usual. Her mom, Phuong N. Nguyen and father, Hung V. Dang, amazed her 5 yrs back indicating they have been leaving their residence in Vietnam to make positive she obtained an great education. “One working day, my mother and father just explained to me that we would shift to the States for greater chances and for a far better everyday living as properly as a much better long run,” Ly mentioned.

“When we to start with moved to the States, we lived in Rochester, New York,” she stated. “It was a lovely metropolis with vibrant leaves in the autumn and crystal snow in the wintertime. It just transpired so speedy, so all of a sudden and when I very first arrived, I had no strategy what school I would show up at. I keep in mind getting metropolis buses with my mother all-around the metropolis to obtain a appropriate superior faculty for me. At the time, it price tag a lot more than $10,000 a year to go to a private substantial faculty in Rochester.”

Ly made a decision to go to a public large faculty, University Devoid of Walls. In addition to university, she also went to Rochester Public Library to go to free English courses. “And there, I met my daily life savior, Mrs. Chojy Schroeder, a retired English teacher and board member of the Rochester City University District,” Ly mentioned.

“She recognized my dedication to and passion for training, so she released me to the Regents Tests. I collected practice complications on the net and studied by myself for nearly two months ahead of using the Regents Tests,” Ly mentioned. “I passed these examinations with this sort of substantial scores that I was then put in twelfth grade.”

Ly was in tenth grade when she experienced left her home in Vietnam. “And like a miracle, I became a high school senior. I skipped eleventh quality.”

Her substantial scores on the Regents Exams also assisted her acquire a scholarship to show up at Our Lady of Mercy Faculty for Younger Females in Rochester. She had only been attending Faculty Without Partitions for a several months.

“During my senior year at Our Woman of Mercy, I bought a opportunity to make long lasting friendships and take part in several volunteer activities” Ly reported. “I volunteered at InterVol, where I helped sort out, set up, pack, and distribute professional medical materials. I also volunteered at the College of Rochester, in which I turned a math and chemistry tutor for students in grades sixth by ninth.

“Additionally, during my senior yr at Our Girl of Mercy, I did my senior project on antacids and how these medications operate to relieve heartburn. I received a Chemistry Achievement Award from American Chemical Modern society that yr,” said Ly.

Ly located herself in Dobson when her dad and mom signed a agreement with Wayne Farms to supply immigration sponsorship for her loved ones to transfer to the U.S. For the reason that her mom and dad do not converse significantly English, Ly was much too concerned to show up at a 4-yr higher education/university, leaving her parents on your own in North Carolina.

“My mother was a trainer in Vietnam and so, working at Wayne Farms, a chicken manufacturing unit, was mentally a obstacle for her. As she is acquiring older now, her well being is not as great as ahead of. It would be too egocentric of me to leave my mom alone performing at the hen manufacturing facility to show up at a boarding college/higher education at that time.”

Ly continued, “The moment I resolved to keep in North Carolina and attend SCC was the minute I understood that I really grew up someway. I’m a female with big goals and ambitions, but I always make absolutely sure to set my family members first less than any situations. Truthfully, I’m just so thankful for owning a prospect to review in the U.S., and for me, we can analyze any place as extensive as we have a passion for finding out to broaden our horizons.”

She spelled out how she uncovered to discuss English. “Many persons could possibly presume that I attended some kind of academy to learn English right before coming to the U.S.,” reported Ly. “I used my elementary and middle-university many years in the countryside of the smaller province in Vietnam. There weren’t numerous assets or services for English-learning alternatives.”

Ly remembers learning and bettering her English largely by watching films and Tv set exhibits these kinds of as “Harry Potter,” “Wizards of Waverly Position,” and “Criminal Minds,” some of her favorites. She also listened to Taylor Swift audio.

She also remembers studying 20 to 30 vocabulary words and phrases and accomplishing English workout routines by herself every working day. “I also improved my English competencies via touring to foreign international locations with my parents,” Ly mentioned.

When at SCC, Ly was incredibly lively in student things to do. She was named to The Nationwide Society of Leadership and Achievement where she been given the Nationwide Engaged Leader Award. She was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, and the Golden Crucial Worldwide Honor Modern society. Whilst at Surry, she helped program and coordinate fundraisers and situations for companies such as the Very little Free Pantry, the Treatment Closet, Halloween Spooktacular, and the Once-a-year Surry’s Got Expertise.

She also volunteered as a training assistant in the SCC Science Department beginning in the tumble semester of 2020. In that role, she assisted the professors and college students with mastering substance and lab pursuits in science courses which includes general biology, microbiology, standard chemistry, and organic and natural chemistry.

“Taking on the role of a teaching assistant in the SCC Science Section, I hoped to assistance learners stay impressed, empowered, and concentrated regardless of the issues and issues throughout the pandemic,” Ly reported. “I also hoped to enable the professors manage a stimulating classroom atmosphere all through this challenging time.”

As part of the software process for the Tutorial Excellence Award, Ly wrote an essay “My Coronary heart Has By no means Been This Full” describing her ordeals at Surry Neighborhood Higher education stating that they “far exceeded my prayers and anticipations.”

“During my time at Surry, I dropped, unsuccessful, succeeded, cried, laughed, loved and over all, I learned,” stated Ly. “I figured out not only new information and competencies, but I also uncovered how to treatment for other individuals and develop as numerous sizeable times as possible. Surry has assisted me perceive that there is one particular issue improved than achieving the top in lifetime: Reaching down and supporting another person else increase to the exact same amount.”

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

“Since we initially arrived to The united states, we have been by a lot, but to me, all these encounters have turned me into a much better man or woman and created me special in my own way. Most men and women dislike the word ‘Impossible,’ but I in particular like this word: If you split the term down, it implies that ‘I’m doable.’ To me, anything is feasible if we set our head to it.”