Scholarship Corner - Nhia Vang

By Leslie Hauser


In fall of 2015 Nhia Vang started his college career at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Nhia is a Rotary Scholarship recipient and is taking general courses his freshman year with hopes of being accepted into the school of business in the next year or so. Nhia is also a Gates scholar, chosen from many students from across the country to receive a four year academic scholarship for the school of his choice. 


Nhia is the first generation in his family to attend college and emigrated with his family to the U.S. approximately 15 years ago from Thailand (where his family sought refuge after the Vietnam War). He speaks multiple languages, including Hmong and Spanish.


Often Madison can be an overwhelming experience for our new scholars, due to the vastness of the campus and the number of students from around the world. Nhia jumped into his college experience with both feet and reached out to other Gates scholars, joined study/tutoring groups and attended career fairs to understand the future job market.  


As with many of the Rotary scholars it is important for them to exert their independence, not live at home and be a part of campus life.  Though Nhia had spent a considerable amount of time in recent years assisting in the care of his grandfather and was the family’s primary interpreter, he and his parents agreed that going away to Madison was the best situation for him.  


Nhia’s energetic personality and exceptional conversational skills, have made it easy to get to know him and his background.  Being his Rotary mentor has been a wonderful experience!