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Chuong Nguyen

Description: Introduction music plays while the blue OTAN logo appears on a black screen. The music continues as California Adult Education Students Succeed 2009 is shown on screen with a logo. A picture of Chuong Nguyen from North City Center, SDCCD is shown. He is wearing a blue dress shirt and a beige tie. He is standing against a wall with his arms crossed and smiling.

Description: As music plays a video of Chuong and his mother, Phuong, is shown. They are walking down stairs inside the school.

Description: Chuong Nguyen is a young Vietnamese male with short black hair. He is wearing a white polo shirt with horizontal dark stripes. The wall behind him is covered with photographs. A globe sits on a table nearby.

Chuong Nguyen: I came to the United States with my mom, my uncle, and the one who sponsor my family to come here.

Description: Mimi Pollack is a Caucasian female with Auburn hair that falls just below her shoulders. She is wearing a black and white striped shirt. An arrangement of flowers sits on the counter behind her. There are pictures of U.S. Presidents hanging on the wall behind her.

Description: A video of Chuong and his mother is shown while Mimi speaks. They are sitting at a table in a classroom looking at a book together and talking.

Mimi Pollack, ESL Teacher, North City Center, SDCCD: Well in Vietnam Phuong's husband died, apparently unexpectedly, and she was left a widow and so she really had to struggle to maintain the family. Despite that they were able to preserver and she applied to come to the United States. You know it's the immigrant story where the parents work and work and work so the children can succeed.

Description: A video is shown of Chuong, Mimi, and Jane standing in the lobby of the school talking. There are tables stacked up in the lobby behind them.

Chuong: After I live here for one year I become a resident so I able to enter Mesa College and I took some ESL class in Mesa College, some math class. First of all I decide my major is electrical engineer because I'm good at math. But later when I volunteered at SAP memorial in the radiology program I really like this program and I say to myself this need my job.

Description: Jane Uhle is a Caucasian female with straight short blonde hair that hangs just below her ears. She is wearing a white polo shirt and a gold necklace. A timeline of dates and events is shown on the wall behind her.

Description: While Jane speaks another video clip of Chuong, Mimi, and Jane is shown in the lobby talking.

Jane Uhle, ESL Teacher (Ret), North City Center, SDCCD: I asked him how he came about getting into that program and it was basically the feeling that this might get me a good job. The idea of job security was extremely important to him. Mind you he did get his AA degree but I think rather than go on and get a BA that might not get him the kind of professional job he wanted the radiology program seemed to fit.

Description: A video clip shows Chuong talking and laughing. A second video is shown while Mimi's interview continues. It shows Chuong, Mimi, and Jane walking through the school.

Mimi: He makes it all look so easy. In other words he always has a smile on his face. Even if he didn't sleep the night before because he was up the whole night studying he's always in a good mood. He took Spanish. He studied a year of Spanish. He was hilarious. He studied a year of Spanish so that he could communicate with our Mexican students and basically he was on the waiting list for the radiology program and he finally got in and then I think it was the first semester half of the class couldn't make it and dropped out, but he persevered and he made it through the first year which is a big accomplishment.

Description: While Chuong's interview continues a video is shown of him and his mother walking through the school and talking.

Description: A photograph of Chuong and a female is shown on the screen. Chuong is wearing a white dress shirt and slacks. He is holding a certificate. The female is wearing a white blouse and has shoulder-length brown hair. There are tables set up banquet style with flowers and people sitting behind them.

Description: A short video clip of Chuong and his mother in the classroom looking through a book is shown.

Chuong: When you go from another country to another country you change your life. You change the culture. You don't know your English. Everything is changed. But you need to know, you need to adapt to a new life. You need to have a goal. You have to live for tomorrow. If you have a better job you have a better certificate your future be better. So if you want to do something, do it 100%. The majority that you have to study. Don't say that is too difficult. Everyone able to do it. Everything is possible.

Description: While Jane's interview continues another video clip of Chuong, Mimi, and Jane talking in the lobby is shown.

Description: A photograph is also shown on screen. It is a picture of Chuong, his mother, and a Caucasian female. Chuong is wearing a blue suit with a gold tie and has a medal around his neck. The unknown female has long, straight brown hair. She is wearing a pink blouse and brown slacks. Chuong's mother is wearing a brown suit and has short brown hair.

Jane: He got to work in my lab 15 hours a week for about 2 years and he was reliable. Unbelievably reliable and excellent with the students and taking 12 to 15 units and I just thought it was remarkable. He was never late. He was absent only twice and he also had another job. To me he epitomizes what we want to see in our students, our workers, and citizens.

Description: Phuong Leiu is of Vietnamese decent. She has short brown hair. Phuong is wearing a brown top with gold flowers and a gold chain necklace. A bulletin board with a map and other pictures hangs on the wall behind her.

Description: Another short video is shown of Phuong and Chuong in the classroom looking through a book.

Phuong Leiu, Choung's Mother: I very happy when my son go to school and he went school last (inaudible). And I'm very happy and I thank you very much. All the teacher.

Description: A video is shown of Chuong and his mother looking at a picture in a book.

Description: As Chuong speaks a video is shown of him giving a hug to Mimi and Jane.

Chuong: At our school is a, that a very good program in American. If you are immigrant you just come to the United States you should take this class because this class, for me, that's like the base for me when I enter to college and into my program right now. When you study that class try to study serious. Don't try like to go one day and off one day. Listen to your teacher. If you have to work try to go to school as much as you can. That's all I can tell people. Don't be lazy (Laughs).

Description: As music plays a photograph is displayed on the screen. The picture is from the awards banquet. Chuong is wearing his blue suit and has the ribbon around his neck. He is posing with his mother and another Vietnamese woman wearing a blue floral dress.

Produced by OTAN 2009; Producer – Penny Pearson; Director – Douglas Rennie