The Balkhi Foundation is proud to showcase the incredible alumni of its Higher Education Scholarship.

The Balkhi Foundation is proud to honor the students who have completed their undergraduate career as a Balkhi Foundation Scholar. Each of these outstanding young adults were selected as high school seniors based on their commitment to excellence and academic success despite multiple obstacles. During their undergraduate career, they continued to demonstrate the tenacity and dedication that personify a Balkhi Foundation Scholar.

Chhun Hong
2022 University of Texas at Austin Graduate

Chhun Hong graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Chhun’s undergraduate career has had a sustained focus on mentorship – both in seeking out experiences for himself and in mentoring the next generation of college students through community service. He was involved in IEEE and  Engineers for a Sustainable World. His team also won the Senior Design project that aimed to predict COVID-19 effects on the NBA. Outside of school, Chhun served as the Director of Junior Staff at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar at TX Gulf Coast.

For Chhun, the critical piece of advice he offers all undergraduates is to put themselves out there and meet as many people as possible. A current acquaintance/friend can be a connection to a job opportunity in the future. Also, don’t rush to graduate, and enjoy your college years!

Chhun aims to become a Product Manager for a technology company. He also hopes to one day return to his home country of Cambodia to improve water supply access for rural residents.

What Chhun says about being a Balkhi Foundation Scholar: “I am truly lucky and honored to have received the Balkhi Foundation Scholarship that aims to empower and enhance the lives of many First-Generation students like myself.”

You can find Chhun on LinkedIn. Check out Chhun’s Blog on Medium as well!

Jennifer Vasquez Gonzalez
2022 University of Florida Graduate

Jennifer Vasquez Gonzalez graduated with honors at the University of Florida with a double major in Biology and Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. Jennifer’s undergraduate experience was underscored by a commitment to community service on and off campus despite entering university at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  During her time at UF, Jennifer had the opportunity to be Vice-President of GSA, be diversity chair of Omega Phi Alpha, and be a teaching assistant for numerous classes including chemistry, social psychology, and microbiology.

For Jennifer, the critical piece of advice she offers all undergraduates is “Stay focused on your studies to make sure you succeed, but also make sure to have a little fun and enjoy your time there. Go to football games and hang out with friends, you only go to college once so you might as well make it memorable.”

Jennifer aims to continue her education in medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a pediatrician working in underserved communities.

You can find Jennifer on LinkedIn.

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