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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Student Spotlight: Khanh Ha, Allied Health

May was Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  EASTERN celebrated by interviewing students of Asian heritage who are leaders in their programs and recent award winners at EASTERN’s Annual Awards Night held in late May.  Today, we spotlight Khanh Ha, a senior in EASTERN’s Allied Health program and at Upper Moreland High School.

Khanh was born in Vietnam and moved to Eastern Montgomery County in 6th grade.  She credits her ESL teachers for helping her gain a general understanding of the English language within six months of her arrival, and to be fully bilingual within three years. While in her ESL program, Khanh was encouraged to begin thinking about a future career. While growing up, Khanh always knew she wanted to help people, but did not want to become a doctor.  While researching medical professions, she found an article about Physicians Assistants and decided to speak to her 9th-grade guidance counselor about it. Her guidance counselor was familiar with the Allied Health program at EASTERN and encouraged Khanh to visit the program.  Now she is a leader in the classroom and ready to continue her education in this field.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is important to Khanh because she feels that Asian individuals are underrepresented in our area of the U.S. “It is a great month to celebrate and focus more on the minority populations,” said Khanh.  “The Asian population and culture continue to grow in America, and that should be recognized and celebrated.”

“When I come to EASTERN, I feel like I am going to work every day, rather than going to school,” said Khanh.  “I wear scrubs, learn theory, and perform hands-on activities. If you are passionate about helping people, you should consider the Allied Health program at EASTERN.  The coursework is difficult, but it pays off in the end.  You will be prepared for your postsecondary program, and you will be on your way to a successful career. You will build the life you want.  Follow your passion.”

Khanh plans to go back to Vietnam to visit her family for one month before leaving for college.  She is looking forward to staying with her grandmother in her childhood home.  In the fall, she will begin her postsecondary program at the University of Pittsburgh where she will major in Biological Sciences as part of their Physicians Assistant path.