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Student Spotlight: Khong Nguyen, Bayou Bend Apartments, Bayou La Batre

April 05, 2023

AHFA shines its Student Spotlight on Khong Nguyen, a first-generation college student and a 2022 graduate of Alma Bryant High School in Irvington. He is attending the University of Alabama and plans to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

In his scholarship application, Nguyen wrote, “My college education is being paid for through a mix of scholarships, grants, loans, and my own personal savings. This scholarship is going to help mitigate the impact that college would have on my financial future, and that allows me to have to spend less personal money on expenses such as school supplies and food.”

He lives in Bayou La Batre’s Bayou Bend Apartments, an affordable multifamily community financed in part by AHFA.

“Before moving into the apartment complex, I used to live in a small brick house,” he wrote. “That brick house was my sanctuary as a kid, a place where I could come home from the stress of school and meet my mom at the door, ready to tell her about my day.”

When he was in seventh grade, Nguyen’s father was arrested, their family’s fortunes changed suddenly.

“Just like that, my life was uprooted, and my mom was on a search to try and find a place to live,” wrote Nguyen. “The idea of losing our home hurt as a child, but what I remember most of the experience was the fear and anxiousness of what would happen now. The anxiousness of my mother desperately attempting to find an affordable place to live with her low income, and the fear of what we would do if we couldn't find one. Affordable housing gives everyone an equal chance at having their own sanctuary, and that itself can provide both adults and children a chance at a new start. Just like how the affordable housing at Bayou Bend gave my family a second chance.”

AAHA's scholarship program is open to eligible tenants and resident family members living at an AAHA-member apartment complex and to property/divisional management staff of AAHA-member companies and their children. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited vocational or technical school, college or university; have at least a "B" average or 3.0 GPA; and meet all other application criteria. Since 2000, AAHA has awarded $1 million in scholarships and provided assistance to more than 100 college graduates.

For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director, at [email protected] or 205.758.1158.