A family first: Greensboro teen who came to the Triad not knowing a word of English is headed to a four-year college

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- At seven years old Po Rmah arrived in Greensboro from Vietnam. Her parents brought their seven kids to the Triad to escape religious persecution.

Po got enrolled at Bessemer Elementary without knowing a word of English. “It was very scary, very confusing I just did a lot of observing,” she said.

Teachers used pictures with words under them to help Po learn and understand what they were talking about in class.

Eventually she learned the English language, adapted to the American culture, and even joined her high school choir. “(I've) always been blessed with teachers, extremely nice and helpful, I could always go up and ask them any question and they would always be extremely nice and patient,” she said.

That patience gave Po a passion to teach. She is now 18 and has financial assistance for her higher education through the John R. Kernodle Scholarship.

As long as Po keeps her grades up while at Western Carolina University, she will get funding help for all four years.

She plans to focus on elementary education.

She says, “I had a loving for kids and heart for kids it is just something I wanted to do just being inspired with my past experiences and having wanting an inspired feeling to help others and that is why I wanted to be a teacher.”

If you would like to learn more about the scholarship, just contact the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro https://www.cfgg.org/