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Dreams of America

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June 10, 2019 | By Lindsay Evans

Luke Vo And Family 2

Luke cannot remember a time when he didn’t want to come to the United States.

Vietnam is a poor country and his small village, Hocnan, offered few opportunities for such an ambitious young man.

“Everything is better in America,” he said. “Better education, better medical care, better jobs.”

When Luke’s older sister brought his parents to the U.S. in 2010 to work in the family business, Luke stayed in Hocnan to help care for his brother and sister.

At night, he and his girlfriend Nina, who lived five minutes away by motorbike, sat together sharing their dreams of an American life.

“I knew we could do anything in the U.S.,” he said. “There is so much freedom. You can be anything you want.”

After two long decades of wishing, Luke finally got his opportunity in 2014. He moved in with his parents in McMurray and quickly got a job at his sister’s nail salon.

But, how can you make your dreams come true if you don’t know how to communicate?

Fortunately, the Literacy Council of Southwestern PA specializes in helping people build their lives through learning English. During his free classes, Luke dreamed aloud with his tutor about marrying Nina and bringing her to his new home.

Finally, in July of 2018, all Luke’s wishes came true, as his wife Nina came to the U.S., bringing with her their new baby, Alana.

The couple admits that English has been hard to learn, but Luke is now an intermediate-level student with a solid grasp of the language basics. Nina, too, now has a tutor at the Literacy Council and is one of the fastest learners in our program. Their voracious appetite for learning English is an inspiration to many other students in our programs.  

Through hard work, and a little help from the Literacy Council, Luke and Nina made their dreams a reality.

Each year the Literacy Council reaches into the lives of countless people, helping empower them to make their dreams come true. We give the gift of English for free because we believe in our mission. Our hearts swell with pride when we see our students thrive and grow, living out the dreams they dreamed of America.