Newman University freshman Karen Do was chosen to receive the Cultural Appreciation Scholarship from Wichita's Miss Vietnam, Amy Vuong.
The scholarship was established by Vuong and was offered and awarded to three exemplary high school seniors in the Wichita area who have displayed leadership, community service, and a passion for their culture. Do, who graduated from Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, was an exceptional recipient.
Miss Vietnam Wichita stated in a recent Facebook post said that "Karen believes her Vietnamese culture is unique in that 'Vietnamese people have a sense of sacrifice and self-giving towards the community and within their own families.'"
Do credited the hard work of her own family and is "proud to be able to have the possibilities in life that my parents were never given." Additionally, she is grateful for the familial bond within the community and hopes that it continues for generations to come.
Do said she was ecstatic that she was chosen..
She said, "The scholarship was a cultural scholarship, which has a personal meaning in my life. I was even happier to receive it as the only Vietnamese recipient, and I was able to connect with the Miss Vietnam court who helped establish this scholarship."
Do is majoring in biology/pre-med and loves to make jokes and help others. "In a broad sense, my life goal is to help others," she said. "Specifically, I am interested in the medical field, so I hope to go to medical school and become a doctor who will help people.
Do added, "My experience at Newman University has been so amazing and filled with supportive people all around me. I am very thankful to be able to go to a university where I can personally learn in a small class setting and to have a more personal and close relationship with my advisors and professors.
"A major aspect of Newman that is so special to me is that Newman University is a Catholic university. I feel so honored and grateful to be able to be a student and be able to share my faith with so many others. My advisors have helped me learn new skills to help with my transition into college and have helped me figure out what I need to do in order to be accepted into medical school."
Among helping others and being the best version of herself that she can be, Do is a huge advocate for sharing and celebrating her culture.
"I want to emphasize just how important sharing our culture is," she explained. "Each of us grew up surrounded by different ethnic and cultural background or values, but this should not hinder us from building a unified community.
"A big problem we face as youth is forming groups based on similar cultures and excluding those who have different cultures. This creates tension within any community. However, if we are able to learn how we can understand each other and accept each other’s cultures, we would be able to create a better-unified community and country."
Karen Do stands next to Miss Vietnam 2017 (far left), posing with other recipients.