MCC Student Wins First Prize in Vietnamese Talent Show

(Bradenton, Fla., Feb.19, 2008) - Manatee Community College (MCC) sophomore Khanh "Kevin" Nguyen won first prize in the singing category at a Spring 2008 Vietnamese Talent Show recently held in Orlando. Singing in his native language, Nguyen won a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to serve as a co-emcee for the show's evening performances by professional entertainers.

While living with his parents in Viet Nam, Nguyen sang in and served as emcee for school and church programs for approximately four years. He also successfully competed for the right to come to the United States (U.S.). One of 350 students who registered for a Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) program, he was among 10 chosen for a U.S. exchange program. The CIEE is the leading U.S. nongovernmental international education organization. After fulfilling contractual obligations with the CIEE in California, Nguyen joined an aunt and uncle in Sarasota a year ago and began working toward an associate in science degree in nursing at MCC.

A member of MCC's International Student Organization and the award-winning Earth Club, Nguyen also works as a student assistant at the MCC Bradenton library, which he calls "a great place to work."  

Natural science instructor and Earth Club advisor Jeff Laborda encouraged Nguyen and drove him to the two-day talent show in Orlando. Laborda, who said Nguyen is a dynamo on stage, is planning a trip to Viet Nam and welcomed the opportunity to help out a student while learning more about the Viet Nam culture.

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