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Boun Om Sengsourichanh Legacy Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
May 11, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 11, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school, undergraduate, or graduate student
Field of Study:
Public service
Non-profit or volunteering experience

Boun Om Sengsourichanh is a beloved father who forged an impactful life after immigrating from Laos.

Boun Om worked in public service, dedicating his life to helping others and leaving the world better than it was when he entered it. Students who share this passion for service will be the leaders of tomorrow and will create unprecedented progress to be enjoyed for generations to come.

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Boun Om Sengsourichanh by supporting students who are dedicating their lives to public service. 

Any high school, undergraduate, or graduate student who is pursuing public service and has non-profit or volunteering experience may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us what field of public service you hope to pursue and how you will use your education to help your community.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published February 5, 2024
Essay Topic

Please tell us what field of public service you plan to pursue or are currently studying and how you plan to use your education to give back to your community.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Myla Vang
Woodbury High SchoolWoodbury, MN
"Researchers reported that diabetes prevalence among Hmong was 11.3% compared to 6% of the non-Hispanic white population," according to the National Library of Medicine. As refugees of the Vietnam War and victims of the chemical "Agent Orange," many elderly Hmong struggle with life-threatening health problems. For example, when my grandpa missed one day of dialysis, he fell unconscious and was sent to the emergency room. He relied on machines to keep him alive. I witnessed the color of his skin desaturate. His hair was unkempt, and his breathing tube was full of phlegm. Tears formed in his eyes when he held my hand, listening to my unbearable sobbing and screaming. His death sent my family into a deep depression.   Eventually, my sorrow inspired me. I earned my CNA license shortly after my grandpa's death. I wanted to honor him by taking care of others like him: people who cannot bathe, eat, or cook. I need to pass on my grandpa's story, and to do so, I will work in clinics and hospitals with families. Hospice care is sad, but honest work. Hmong in hospice care feel especially isolated. Many elders cannot speak English and dislike the food provided at hospitals. As a Hmong woman, I enjoy speaking with elders and learning about their past.   So, who are the Hmong? The Hmong come from the mountains of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, we were forced to run from Vietnamese soldiers. The Hmong men joined the American military, showing soldiers the ways of the land. Women and children hid in caves and crossed the mighty Mekong River, nearly a mile long. Settling in refugee camps was safer than staying in the mountains. We no longer had a home. With only the clothes on our backs, American soldiers led us to their giant cargo planes. In the new land, America, we were never able to live our own lives. English was often a fourth or fifth language for Hmong immigrants, and being shamed for not understanding Americans was frustrating. These are among the many struggles that non-Hmong people would not understand. This is why I am going to pursue a career and lifestyle of taking care of the Hmong elderly.   For now, I will volunteer for Free Bikes 4 Kidz. I've been volunteering with them for over 3 years now, encouraging adolescents to stay in shape. I’ve met many Hmong children while working. My family will often share a prayer with Hmong families. One volunteer opportunity I am particularly excited to start is at the Science Museum of Minnesota. I look forward to working in their trading post, spreading my love for science to children and adults looking to discover specimens of the natural world.   In the future, I plan to attend Gustavus Adolphus College to become a registered nurse. After my graduation, I will join the workforce to gain experience. I expect to discover different working environments that help different ages, races, and situations. When two years pass, I will attend graduate school to pursue a nurse practitioner license. I want to specialize in endocrinology, helping adults with diabetes and women with health issues related to premenstrual dysphoric disorder.   Volunteer work is my passion, and I want my community to thrive. My love for people will benefit others now and in the future. The future of my community will greatly progress through this generation and the next, especially the refugees of war from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 11, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 11, 2024.

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