Vietnamese girl named after Japanese anime heroine hopes to
use education to change lives 1

A young ethnic minority woman in central Vietnam, named Sakura after the famous anime heroine, hopes to use her future career as a teacher to inspire those around her.

Briu Thi Sakura, a 19-year-old girl from Quang Nam Province, spent her childhood in a degrading house with little more than a rusty television and a few old wardrobes.

“My family named the youngest child Sakura because this name means hope and a chance to change fate,” Briu Thi Bronh, her eldest sister, explained.

But life has not been easy for the Vietnamese girl named after the famous Japanese cartoon character.

After her father died, Sakura’s mother Hoi Thi Puoi spent years laboring in order to provide for the family of seven until she was diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease, and arthritis, forcing Sakura to bear the burden of paying for her mother’s treatment.

When she wasn’t at school, Sakura took on work in a local rubber forest to help support her family and pay her tuition at Hue University of Education where she scored 3.78 GPA and earned the title of “excellent student” at the end of her freshman year.

Sakura says her goal in life is to continue her studies and become a teacher so that she can support her family while helping children living in poverty get the education they deserve.

“Since my name is Sakura, I’ll try my best to bring happiness to people I love,” she said with optimism, adding that her mother is her motivation to keep moving forward in life.

Huynh Thi Hong Hanh, Sakura’s head teacher, shared that Sakura is active in both the classroom and in social activities, earning her lots of love and admiration from her classmates and teachers.

“I see potential in this young woman,” she said about Sakura’s determination and passion for study.

Last year, Sakura was among the recipients of “Tiep Suc Den Truong” (Giving Strength to Students), a scholarship awarded by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper to financially support students from impoverished families.

Tuoi Tre also plans to award scholarships of up to VND15 million (US$652) to first year students across Vietnam who can’t afford tuition fee this September.

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