Hartford bakery owner Khamla Vorasane has started a $ 6,000 scholarship fund for students at the University of Connecticut (UConn) taking Asian studies and Asian American studies.

Tribute to his parents: Vorasane, owner of BouNom Bakery in Avon, named the Nom & Boulieng Vorasane scholarship in honor of his late parents.

  • Vorasane wanted to honor his deceased parents who immigrated to the United States after the Vietnam War. His father, Bou, was a serviceman who fought alongside the United States in Vietnam. He was arrested and she, his mother and her four siblings went into hiding.

  • When Bou was released, he traveled to Thailand and arranged for his wife, Nom, and the children to join him. The family crossed the Mekong River from Laos to Thailand in the middle of the night. After leaving Thailand, Bou and Nom applied for asylum in the United States in 1980.

  • Bou and Nom moved the family to Abilene, Texas, where they urged their children to receive a good education. Vorasane said scholarships, grants and loans funded his history and political science degrees from Texas Christian University.

Cooking for a good cause: Vorasane opened the French bakery, located in Avon, in early 2020 with his sister, and “BouNom” is a combination of their parents’ names, Nom and Boulieng Vorasane.

  • The Nom & Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship is for UConn students who are studying to become teachers taking Asian Studies and Asian American Studies courses. The scholarship will be administered by the Institute of Asian and Asian American Studies at UConn.

  • “If you ask people about the history of Asian Americans, all they know is that the Chinese came and built the railways,” Vorasane said. Hartford Current. “We wanted a bigger picture of how Asian Americans were integral to the growth of the United States.”

  • Jason Chang, director of the university’s institute, told Hartford Courant that education majors must enroll in courses in the university’s Asian and Asian American Studies program in order to be eligible for the university. the stock market.

  • Applicants will be judged on the basis of an essay on their vision of contributing to the community through education.

  • Chang said it was the first scholarship offered by the institute that focuses on education rather than research.

  • Vorasane’s $ 6,000 donation will fund awards of $ 2,000 over three years. The rewards will continue after these three years if sufficient funds are raised.

previous philanthropy: Vorasane and her sister, Chan Graham, have already raised $ 4,000 through their bakery in March.

  • They spent a day raising funds for groups fighting anti-Asian discrimination, according to WFSB.

  • “When we saw the news of Atlanta, being Asian American, it really hit home and we said we have to give back, we have to do something to honor the victims, we have to highlight the Asian hatred that is going on, “Vorasane said at the WFSB.

  • The success of their March effort inspired the scholarship initiative.

Featured Image Via WTNH

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