Trustees' Award scholarships

An Award for Outstanding Achievement

  • September 19, 2019

Cal State East Bay senior Hickry Nguyen is a first-generation Asian American student, an aspiring physical therapist and a recipient of one of the 2019 California State University Trustees’ Awards. 

As immigrants to the U.S., Nguyen and his family have faced years of hardship, including periods when they didn’t have food to eat or money for books. However, as Hickry told the CSU Board of Trustees, his parents were most concerned with who he was becoming as an individual, not about obtaining wealth. 

Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita shared the anecdote and his connection to Nguyen’s parents’ philosophy in his convocation speech in August.

“As a father of two boys, young men now, that particular worry resonated with me,” Morishita said. “When so much is out of your control, how do you ensure your child grows up to be a thriving, well-rounded individual?”

Nguyen is currently majoring in health science and volunteers at various hospitals in the Bay Area including Highland and Alta Bates. He also volunteers at an Asian network homecare and hospice facility,  advocating for patients. 

He said the scholarship will help him continue pursuing his education, despite the challenges he and his family face. 

“While education has given me opportunities, my goals have been impeded by my financial hardship," Nguyen said. "Receiving this scholarship helps me break free from my financial burden and allows me to make a difference in my career.”

Each year, the CSU honors 23 students like Nguyen, one from each campus. This year, the students will be recognized during the first day of the Sept. 24-25 Board of Trustees meeting. 

According to the CSU, the awards provide donor-funded scholarships to students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.

“These 23 student scholars wonderfully embody the ideals and values of the California State University,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White in a statement. “They have demonstrated brilliance, tenacity and extraordinary resolve in overcoming many obstacles in the pursuit of their academic goals. It is inspiring to consider the collective future impact they will have on their families, communities and the state of California.”

More information about Nguyen and the other recipients is available on the CSU Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement website.