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Vietnam to Portland via Intel

Trinh Thi Khanh Nguyen’s father died when she was a young girl in Vietnam, and her mother never had the chance to go to college, but her hard work has earned her a spot in Portland State University's 2012 Intel Vietnam Scholars Program.

Nguyen and 20 other high-achieving Vietnamese students arrived at PSU on Aug. 2 to complete their bachelor’s degrees and prepare for jobs with Intel in Vietnam. They are the third group awarded scholarships from Intel to study at PSU for two years — and the first group that is mostly women.

The high number of women this year reflects Intel’s commitment to recruiting women into its technical workforce. Intel's total investment after three groups in the program tops $7 million.

Nguyen, one of five women in her class at Danang University of Technology in Vietnam, said she decided to study engineering because she would have a better chance at a good job and "a higher place in society."

PSU and Intel selected the students from 300 applicants through a rigorous screening process, including academic testing and personal interviews. All the students in the two previous groups are working for Intel at its largest global assembly-test facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

For Nguyen, studying at PSU fulfills a dream for herself and her mother, a primary school teacher.

"She has followed my steps and taken care of my studies at school with the hope that I would be successful in the future," she said. "Thanks to her passion, I try a lot to study and make her dream come true."

Go here for a video about the first group of Intel Vietnam Scholars.