At Aqua Expeditions, inspiration can come from many sources. A riverside view at sunset. A glimpse of a tail in the rainforest canopy. The taste of a fresh herb in your Vietnamese pho. The sound of a bird call deep in the Peruvian jungle. Or inspiration can come from something as simple as a story about one individual who overcame the odds to find a path to success -- not just for herself, but for her entire family.
Meet Tay Thi, a young Vietnamese girl who has been a beneficiary of the acclaimed educational programs at our philanthropic partner, Room to Read since age 7.
Eager to learn, Tay Thi dreamed of becoming a teacher and studied hard in Room to Read’s classes. Her parents, however, were Illiterate, in poor health and in debt and needing money to pay for food and medicine, preferred that Tay’s little brother be the one to pursue an education. Not once but several times, they burned her textbooks and demanded that she quit school and go to work. After Room to Read intervened and helped cover school-related costs, including a bicycle to get to school, Tay resumed her classes while agreeing to work in a local factory and catch river crabs to help the family financially.
Graduation from school was only Tay’s first step. Eventually, despite consistent resistance from her family, she persevered to complete college entrance exams for Long An Teacher Training College in Ho Chi Minh City, studying and working tirelessly to continue her education. Tay was finally able to obtain a scholarship to defray her expenses and graduated to become a teacher in her own right.
What is truly inspirational about Tay’s story is what she did to influence the course of her brother Phat’s life and how she paved the way for her family to learn the positive power of education.
Listen to her story…
“I am from a poor family, but my will is not poor,” says Tay Thi. “Poor students do not have many advanced learning opportunities. I am adamant to give myself this opportunity. In remote areas, Vietnamese students do not have many good English teachers. I will fight for my future and for these students.”
We congratulate Tay and Room to Read who together created a new, positive path and a bright future not just for Tay but for her family and many others through their innovative educational programs.