Bao Vao’s dream


Angela Franco '20

Senior Bao Vao’s dream is to be a successful physical therapist. Growing up in Vietnam, he lived with his family, who are doctors, and close friends. His pastimes included watching soccer and spending time with his friends, but his biggest passion was applying himself in school. As time progressed, school intensified and he felt as if the doors of opportunity kept slamming shut. Going to school for 12 hours a day and studying 13 subjects each year was leading up to the moment he would take the Intermediate Graduation Examination test that would determine his life. Passing this exam was so important in Vietnam because it could possibly determine how society looked at you as a person, whether you would get a job, get into college, or the amount of money you earn. It was as if this test decided your value as a person. Bao knew that there was something else waiting for him out there, that wasn’t this life. At 17, he and his family decided to have him move to the US. It was so hard to leave everything he knew and had grown up with. Dealing with homesickness and the struggle of making friends was hard to overcome, but he was able to do it because of his family, “Family is my encouragement and strength” (Vao). While spending more time in the United States, he gained independence, along with inspiration from his ambitious parents to keep going. He met many good friends at Bishop Montgomery and noticed how the teachers care about their students, and how they interact with them. He feels lucky to have many career paths open to him and to be seen as the person he is. Much has changed, from being the kid who would lock himself in a room for hours because he felt so lonely, to being the kid who is now confident in accomplishing his dream.