SoCal Student Says He Will Pay it Forward

By Greg Bledsoe
|  Monday, Jun 15, 2009  |  Updated 6:21 AM PDT
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Special UCSD Graduate

Scott Luong is one of just six Simon Scholars graduating around the country this year.

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Special UCSD Graduate

For one student, it's a day he never thought he'd see, and one for which he's very grateful.
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A lot of UCSD Students are feeling pretty good after commencing their college careers this weekend. For one student, it's a day he never thought he'd see, and one for which he's very grateful.

For a group about to enter the real world, during really tough times there sure were a lot of smiles. You can add Scott Luong to that crowd.

"I'm feeling great.  I'm really excited to be here," he said.  "I'm really fortunate to be here you know."

Loung's family immigrated here from Vietnam. He's one of seven kids, with six older sisters.

"My mom was a seamstress and my dad a gardener for more than 20 years," Luong said. "Financially, I didn't think it was possible."

But thanks to the Simon Scholarship program, it was possible. Luong is one of just six Simon Scholars graduating around the country this year.

While he'll never have to pay it back, he does plan to pay it forward by becoming a teacher.

"I believe that it's important to give back to students and to the community" Luong said.

This might not be the best time for a rookie year in the real world but Luong hopes the ones behind him realize an uphill climb can only make you stronger.

"I would tell them to never give up and to believe in themselves, to really gain that self confidence," he said.

Luong graduated with a major in psychology and a minor in education. He's planning on going to graduate school to work towards a PhD, and would like to eventually teach elementary school and mentor high school students.

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