UW Dream Project

April 29, 2014

Mentee of the Week – Brenda Nguyen, Dream Achieved!

My name is Brenda Nguyen. I am a first generation college-bound student, raised from Vietnamese parents. My parents immigrated to the U.S., and had to adapt to the culture American culture.  I on the other hand, was lucky enough to have been born here.  Yet growing up, I faced the conflicts between cultures and the high expectations bestowed upon me by my parents.

Both my mother and father were unable to complete any substantial form of formal education. With that being said, I was raised being told, “you must get an education, you don’t want to work like me for the rest of your life.” I remember hearing these heeding words since I was a child, and I’m still reminded with them today as a young adult.

As I grew older these words resonated with me more and more. I knew I wanted to get that education, and that job, which would ultimately help me to have an easier life than my parents had.  The problem was I didn’t know how to get there.


While in high school, I heard an announcement about the Dream Project. I thought, “this is great, someone can help me because I’m so lost.” When I met these mighty people decked out in purple, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had no idea how helpful these people would turn out to be. Soon, I found a mentor and right away she came out and gave a warm welcome. She was willing to give advice about college, willing to edit all my college essays, and willing to be there to help me feel less lost and more excited along the way.


I had her read over every essay I wrote for the colleges I applied to. Every time I would receive back my papers, there were comments and suggestions for improvement to overall result in a stronger essay to stand out in the future college application evaluations. Looking back on it now, I’m grateful about my decision to join dream project. My parents and family could not give much help into the daunting transition of preparing for college, due to their own lack of experience in the process.  The Dream Project was that helping hand that aided me in this whole journey of college applications. I’m happy to say I will joining these fellow huskies in the 2014-2015 school year at the University of Washington!

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