Interview with Mr. Thuc
How did you enroll in the VTC of Phuoc Loc?
I came from a Roman Catholic family of 7 people. My family lives at Duc Le parish in Dakmil, Daknong province. As members of Duc Le parish, my parent and siblings actively join all the activities organized by the parish priest. In 2006, after graduation of the secondary school, I was advised by our parish priest, Fr Isidoro Le Huong, SDB. He suggested me to visit Phuoc Loc Vocational Training Center. I went to Phuoc Loc and found this place so interesting! I loved this place so much and I decided to enroll in this technical school in April 2006, then graduated my studies in July 2008.
What are you most grateful for in the education received by Don Bosco?
Far away from home, I was accepted to be a boarding student in Phuoc Loc. We wre the first batch of boarders in VTC. That time the Rector and principal was Fr Joseph Nguyen Van Quang, present provincial SDB of Vietnam - Mongolia. There were two Salesians in charge of the boarding house, Br Gioakim Nguyen Huu Thuoc and Br Peter Nguyen Tan Toi, as well the large Salesian community. During my life in the boarding house I learned how to behave well and especially all the necessary virtues to become a deeply human person. Besides studying technical course in the school, the Salesians also taught us the way to live together, to play games,to do the chores and how to look for job after graduation. Living in this place, I felt it as my home and my second family. I discovered that only in the Salesian house I would find the family spirit so I talked to my family and they decided to send my two younger brothers to Phuoc Loc for study as well. Both of them had graduated and are now working very well.
How did you become a teacher in Vocation Training Center?
While I was taking mechanic course (intermediate level) I was advised by Br Gioakim: “If you want to improve your life, you must go up for your higher study!" - He was speaking about university level.
After graduation in Phuoc Loc, I worked in a small company introduced by Br Peter Toi. While I was working in this company, I often receive phone call from Br Gioakim who encouraged and pushed me for higher studies. From that time on, I tried to make a research for a fitting College. And at the end Ho Chi Minh City University of Technical Education was my target. I spent times for reviewing and passed the entrance exams in November 2009. After 4 years of studies I graduated as Mechanic Engineer in August 2014. Then I was warmly invited by Fr Joseph Quang to be a teacher in mechanic department of the VTC. I was touch by the saying of Br Gioakim Thuoc: What are you now it's because of the Salesians! So I decided to work as a teacher and become one of Technical School staff.
What is your contribution to the Salesian education work in PL? (Hostel, education, teaching)
At this present time, I am a mechanic department teacher and assistant in the mechanic workshop. After teaching in Phuoc Loc VTC for 3 months, I realized a strong need for a boarding, since only few find a place in the VTC boarding house. It was really an urgent need. Because our Training Center Boarding house can accept only a limited number of 150 students, from that moment on got an idea to open another (external) hostel for our Training Center students.
Thanks to the supporting from Fr Peter Dinh Cong Truong and Br Gioakim Thuoc from September 2015, we rentd a house and received first 15 students in the first batch. It had a good result. Then from September 2016 the number of hostel students increased to 58. For this coming year 2017-2018 we plan to have 65 hostel students, including five of them on 50% scholarship (lodging and food).
Every year you are meeting on Tet holiday some other DB Past Pupils. Who come back to their mother school? What dream do you have about the possible Don Bosco Alumni Association?
Every year our Past Pupils gather together during the Lunar New Year, but I did not see the importance of this gathering.
About the Don Bosco Past Pupils I have a dream: "As Past Pupils of our Training Center could we have a small organization or an office in Phuoc Loc? We could support the Salesians in the school organization and started our Association with their help. In my mind, the possible contribution of the Past Pupils could be:
- Guiding new students for enrollment.
- Career guidance - jobs - for newly graduated students.
- Updating fresh graduates, keep in touch with them and make a network of Phuoc Loc Past Pupils.
- Taking care of student families through the liturgical celebrations - Mass and prayers
- Encourage and guide Past Pupils to be generous in making a contribution for the VTC (one day wage/student per year) or for updating equipment of Phuoc Loc Training Center
Any other dream?
- I wish that the Salesians would be more enthusiastic to care about our Past Pupils, to visit their families.
- I dream to have more hostels for VTC students to improve a good atmosphere for our students