Graduate Spotlight: Trung NguyenGraduate, Trung Nguyen, Traveled from Vietnam to the United States for a Chance at a Better Life

Mr. Trung Nguyen, the second of four children, was born in Vietnam in 1972, while North and South Vietnam were still at war. Trung's father was a lieutenant in the Army, who was arrested by the communists and sent to a concentration camp in 1975. Fortunately, he was released after just a few months.

As a military family in Vietnam there were not many opportunities for benefits or educational assistance from the government. When Trung was 14, his father planned for him to escape communism, so he could have more opportunities and a better life. After spending seven days on a boat, Trung and his brother escaped to the Philippines. They stayed in Palawan for eight months, practicing and learning English in preparation to travel to America.

In 1988, Trung started high school in Boston, MA, and finished in 1991. After graduating, Trung joined the U.S. Navy because he saw it as an opportunity for a better future and wanted to take advantage of the benefits provided like education, training, and travel.

Trung learned about Grantham University and knew that a flexible distance learning program was the way to accomplish his educational goals. Grantham University provided everything Trung wanted, especially the convenience of going to school online. "I can study and watch football at the same time," he commented. "I can spend time with my family in the evening without going to campus or attending a night class." Grantham became a home for him with the "friendly and supportive staff". As a service member, he appreciated Grantham's military scholarship program. His education was more affordable because of the scholarship and he took full advantage of his Veterans' benefits.

Trung completed his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology in 2003, but he didn't stop there. In 2008, he began his journey toward a Master of Science degree. Trung's motivation to earn a Master of Science in Information Technology was to earn a higher salary and become a larger contributor of knowledge to his workplace. He felt that this degree would help him improve business for his department and company, provide superior care for customers, increase productivity and improve management of staff. He also knew that accomplishing his master's would earn him respect from his family, friends and co-workers.

With the support of his family and employer, Trung completed his Master of Science in Information Technology on July 9, 2010. Trung attended Grantham University's Commencement Ceremony in Kansas City on August 14th. It was the first graduation he had attended in 20 years; he described it as "very exciting". Completing a Master of Science degree was one of Trung's life-long goals. He said, "My family is very proud of me."  In addition to being a role model for his sons, Trung has become an inspiration to many.