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Coastline student hopes others follow his example

A Coastline Community College student hopes to inspire more Vietnamese Americans to attend college by leading by example, according to a news release.

"There is a Vietnamese proverb that says 'Gratitude is the sign of noble souls," Hung Ta, 60, said in a news release about a $5,000 scholarship he received last spring. "I want to demonstrate the significance of that by thanking Coastline for giving me a chance of competing for and tasting this sense of huge honor."

Ta was one of five to receive the Asian and Pacific Island American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) last spring.

"APIASF has dedicated scholarships for students at only nine colleges within the U.S.," Coastline President Loretta P. Adrian said in a prepared statement. "We are honored that they have chosen our college, and our students, to receive these grants, and Hung Ta's testimonial proves that the impact of the spring 2013 scholarships is already being felt within our walls and within the Orange County Vietnamese community."

As part of the scholarship, Ta was also invited to the 2013 Higher Education Summit in June in Washington, D.C.

He said the summit was a "valuable opportunity to meet some individuals that represent the country and hear them address the issues of Asian and Pacific Islander students."

Before the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Ta was a military officer in South Vietnam. In 2010, his brother sponsored him to come to the U.S.

Ta said it was a life-long journey to get here, and he now wants to continue his academic journey at Coastline, where he studies psychology.

According to the news release, Ta learned at the summit that 16% of Vietnamese Americans have a college degree or higher.

"I want younger generations to achieve and get a college degree," he said. "That is what I hope for."

The APIASF is still offering $2,500 scholarships to students who are of Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity, a U.S. citizen and will be enrolled at Coastline Community College full-time next spring. For more information visit aanapisischolarship.apiasf.org.

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