From Poverty to Graduating Yale Debt Free

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“Education is the key for solving all your problems.”

A son of a political refugee from Vietnam, Davis Nguyen grew up in Riverdale, Georgia, one of the worst neighborhoods around, in a single mom household.

He was living on food stamps and welfare and attended a school district that was called “the worst in the US.” Basically, everything seemed to be against him.

In 2015, however, he graduated from Yale University with honors and zero debt.

In this conversation, Davis shares his journey from poverty to receiving over 1 Million dollars in scholarships – and giving most of it away.

His determination to go to a great college began when his grandma told him that the value of education would open up all doors for him. Education, she said, is the key for solving all your problems. If you excel at school, everything will work out for you.

Inspired by her words, instead of roaming the streets, he’d study for the SATs and joined extra curriculum activities that would expand his mind and help him to overcome the obstacles standing in his way.

The fact that nobody in his neighborhood went to Yale or Harvard and that none of his teachers and counselors could share any advice, didn’t stop him from waking up every morning asking himself what he could do today to make his dream of going to Harvard come true; and then doing it.

Given his financial background, Davis knew he needed scholarships, so he applied for 4 scholarships a week; from McDonald’s to other local places. Receiving more than 180 rejections, he still ended up getting 32 scholarships, which amounted to more than 1 million dollars and the ability to make his dream of a great education come true.

His long term goals include starting a mission based company that solves problems worth solving, create a scholarship fund for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and write a book that gets people to reimagine their lives.

You can read about his philosophy of life on his blog Click with Anyone.

 

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