The speech of Le Khac Tien (the student who received Luong Van Can Award in 2016 – 2017) at Luong Van Can Scholarship award

Hello everyone!
To all of the distinguished guests and patrons, let me start by considering myself a brother in talking with all of the students here.
Hello, I am Le Khac Tien, a doctor who has just graduated from Medical apartment – Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City. I used to be here like you one year ago, and today, it is an honor for me to stand on this stage to talk to you.
I know that every student coming here all has a story of their own. Today, I would like to share with you the story of mine, and I hope that, it will somehow provide inspirations for you.
Can you see what is this? (take out 10.000 VND from his pocket).
It’s 10.000 VND, isn’t it? This is what I received for a day work in 2003. My family originally lived in Thanh Hoa, but due to a conflict in terms of inheritance in my granddad’s house, the newly-wedded couple (my parents) had to sell up all the land to divide equally for my uncles and aunts and then my parents and I migrated to Phan Thiet with just 5 billion VND in hand. That amount was seemingly not a tight budget, but it was not enough for a family to settle in such a new area. At that time, my parents were so young, with no training, no job, no working experience in urban life. There were still some relatives living in close proximity, but their financial difficulty didn’t allow for much assistance. What we had was only a small bedsit for three members. My father worked as much as he could, from producing beehive coal, working in construction sites to collecting scrap, which is still his current job. My mother also earned a living by selling banh cuon.
In those days, I was just a kid with the negligence of family difficulty and also paid little attention to my own study. However, my study was not so poor, as my parents always went to great lengths to support my schooling and seldom required me to help with household finance. To the best of my memory, we rarely had a sufficient 3-meal day, and rice with sugar, or with fish sauce, rice from the former day being re-fried became our familiar diet. My mom usually left home for work very early, at about 4 am to be exact, and I also got up at the same time to re-fry rice. Whenever asked if they had had breakfast, my parents most of the time said that they were full up. I simply thought that my parents were just eating on the sly. Perhaps I would never know the truth until the day my mom suddenly passed out on the street while working. My mom did faint because of hunger. What an awful child I was at the time! From that moment, I insisted that I make great effort to study so that my mom and dad would never be so hard-working, and my children in the future would never have to be faced with hunger. I started to assist my parents in making ends meet at the age of 9, and the first job which brought me this 10.000 VND was to collect fish on the seashore, from the early morning until the late evening. Unlike my peers using such payment for toys and snack, I spent it on books and school stuff. In addition, I made great attempt to learn as excellently as I could with a view to receiving notebooks from school as an award, which meant my parents would not necessarily allocate our tight budget to such things.
Since then, I have received financial assistances from the Association for Promoting Education and scholarships from various organizations to sustain my educational progress. From the bottom of my heart, I feel fortunate to become a member in Luong Van Can family. Therein, we do not merely receive scholarship, but far more than that. Luong Van Can Fund gives us a close-knit family, and together with them, we organize and partake in many meaningful activities, from which we grow up day by day. I remember the first time I joined Luong Van Can Club, with the thought of being the oldest member there, I was too anxious to get on. However, it was the friendliness from all of you that I started to overcome such emotional obstacles. As regards the English class here, at first I thought my English was generally accepted, but when attending the class, I started to recognize the terrible gap in my basic knowledge. Thanks to this class, the gap was later on fulfilled. Additionally, we will have an opportunity to join the Mentorship program, with many talented and experienced people keeping our company and offering us valuable advice on your future jobs and plans. It is a great pride to introduce ourselves as Luong Van Can members to friends and other organizations. As far as I could recall, I once attended a conference at John Von Neumann Institution, and on introducing myself a member of Luong Van Can club, I was immediately allowed to make my entrance. There are still a lot more interesting secrets that I think I shouldn’t reveal. It is now your time to explore and enjoy.
The story that I have shared is not merely my own, as there are many in our Fund that have even more difficulties, and each of you brings a different story. After all, I appreciate that you would understand one important thing: even when you may have a more difficult life than others; even when you may have to work harder to cover your daily need than others, and even when you may have a lower starting point than others, let’s look on the bright side and consider such difficulty the motivation to head you forward. Be convinced that you are never alone on your journey, since there exist many organizations like our Luong Van Can Fund which are always ready to support you to become an intellectual person making this country stronger and better. Dare to dream and make you dream come true: Where there is a will, there is a way.
Thank you.
Besides, on behalf of the students in Luong Van Can Fund, I would like to express my gratitude toward the organizers of the Fund, the patrons and organizations that have unfailingly accompanied and supported us. We sincerely wish you health, happiness and success in order to help more students to pursue their dreams.
Thank you.
Le Khac Tien
Former student at Medical Department – Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City
The student who received Luong Van Can Award in 2016 – 2017.