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October 21, 2022

First-Generation Student Shares Importance of Scholarship for His Entire Family

Brunch Brings Students and Donors Together to Connect and Engage
First-Generation Student Shares Importance of Scholarship for His Entire Family
Alex Nguyen, a sophomore accounting major, shared his story during the Nebraska Business Scholarship Brunch in September.

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A sophomore accounting major and business analytics minor from Lincoln, Nebraska, Alex Nguyen shared his story during the Nebraska Business Scholarship Brunch at Howard L. Hawks Hall in September. The event brought student scholarship fund recipients and scholarship donors together to connect and engage, share stories and learn about one another.

By Alex Nguyen

I want to start off by saying thank you to our donors for your direct assistance in furthering our education.

I am a first-generation student, so this scholarship provides a lot for, not just myself, but my entire family. My parents have shown me firsthand what a great work ethic looks like and continue to work tirelessly to provide for my siblings and me coming into college. I had hoped to apply and receive as many scholarship options as possible to provide some financial relief for my parents.

 Alex Nguyen poses with other students at the Scholarship Brunch.
Alex Nguyen joined students to connect with donors at the brunch.

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, this school and what everyone here has given me and my fellow students to provide some of that relief. I am also the oldest child in my family and the first-born American, so I hope to lead the way for the rest of my family. Thanks to the financial aid given to me last year, I was able to live on campus and immerse myself in the culture here at Nebraska and meet many other scholars who motivated my learning. Though I tried to cover all of my schooling expenses with financial aid, I still had a significant amount I had to pay out of pocket. I stressed about my current and future financial situations. This stress weighed on me throughout the semester, impacting my mental state while studying and attending extracurricular activities.

Stress is just expected when you're going to college, but the hope is that it's just from classes and not finances. This year, I opted to live off-campus and my expenses and rent have dramatically decreased with this scholarship. I can work less hours at my job and focus more of my time on studying.

I spend a significant amount of time on campus. I wake up at 5 a.m. for marching band rehearsals and put in more hours (rehearsing) as well. I study in the College of Business Teaching and Learning Center every day. It's a great place with intelligent student tutors who are always helpful and encouraging. I go to the gym every night and look forward to getting stronger and focusing on my physical health. But most of my time is dedicated to studying, which is the priority for my family and me.

My career goals are to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms or a private firm that will align with my values of helping one's community. I hope to be part of something bigger than myself.

Lastly, I want to share about the TeamMates mentoring program. Recently I've become a TeamMates mentor. TeamMates is a nonprofit organization with the mission to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. I became a mentor because my parents aren't from the U.S., and growing up, I didn't have that help or guidance through the educational system. I wished there would've been another adult to help and guide me. Mentors and mentees are paired up based on similar personalities, experiences and career goals. I look forward to meeting one-on-one with my student each week to play board games, talk and be another adult figure in their life. Giving advice and guidance is probably one of the most rewarding things I've done this year. Like our donors, seeing potential and being able to give back is a fantastic thing.

Thank you to our donors for what you have given us.

To learn more about the College of Business Scholarship Fund or to donate, go to go.unl.edu/supportCoB.