CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Each week during the school year, Project L.I.F.T. selects a student who is excelling not only inside the classroom, but outside as well. The student - along with their favorite teacher - is featured every Wednesday on WBTV News on Bounce at 8 p.m. The program operates within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System.
This week's scholar is H'Chiem Siu, a 12th grader at West Charlotte High School.
Bio: H'Chiem came to the United States in 2005 with her family and did not speak any English. She is a member of the Montagnard culture (Jari tribe) from Vietnam. In order to escape from her country, she had to walk in the jungle using only the moon. They couldn't use a flashlight as they didn't want to give their position away to the Vietnamese police that were looking for them and the other members of her community (81 in total).
At one point, H'Chiem was carried by her parents on their backs because she was too weak to walk. NOTHING stops this scholar!
When she was little, she was only able to go to kindergarten because her aunt was a teacher in the village and she walked a great distance in order to be able to go. School was very difficult, even there, because she couldn't speak her native language - she could only speak Vietnamese in order to get an education.
As an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, she chose to focus her extended essay on the importance of understanding who she is as a Montagnard person. She is a wonderful student leader at West Charlotte High School and is currently ranked 4th in her class.
Future Plans: She'd like to do something working with the arts and giving back to the community. When she goes to college she wants to start an organization that will allow her to raise money and build a school for the people in her former village. She currently works with Vietnamese philanthropic organizations to support people there.
You can search for more scholars at wbtv.com/scholars.