“VietChallenge 2017: Another year of excitement

“VietChallenge 2017: Another year of excitement.”
We sent out an email with that subject line to hundreds of our contacts eight months ago. It truly captured the positive energy that our contestants, judges, mentors brought to VietChallenge 2017. Hundreds of teams applied to compete, an impressive number of mentors, advisors, and judges offered their support. The amount of money donated and the amount of time volunteered from and outside the Vietnamese community amazed all of us.
It was tough for our judges to select the winner out of 176 teams with brilliant ideas and strong execution skills. Our Final Round judges picked ScholarJet, a team that sets to change the way scholarships are distributed to students with a web platform that allows donors to create their criteria and challenges for prospective donees. The idea of revolutionizing the traditional scholarship system came to ScholarJet’s Co-Founder, Tuan Ho, who emigrated from Vietnam at the age of 10, when he applied for more than 40 scholarships to finance his education at Northeastern and found out that there is no way writing an essay can reflect a person’s full potentials.
Other Finalists of VietChallenge are equally amazing. They have confirmed my belief that the Vietnamese community is so blessed with many talented innovators and entrepreneurs.
I am very proud of our team. The 35 of us have volunteered our time to the great cause of VietChallenge. Countless all-nighters, thousands of emails, calls, and meetings (even at midnight or later). The best compliment for our efforts is that immediately after the competition, our donors reached out to me and promised to continue supporting VietChallenge 2018 and in the future.
After two years running the competition, I have learned so much from so many amazing individuals. I am humbled and grateful to those who trusted me and offered their generous support. They are the people who worked with me in my previous legal career, who are going to work with me this coming Fall, who I had a chance to collaborate in other civic and professional engagements, family, friends, teammates, mentors, teachers, sponsors, etc. I could never have had the strength to pull myself through the tough times had it not been with your constant support.

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