Thatsaphone Simanivanh came to America when he was only five years old. Even at that young age, he was determined to work hard to be successful in his new environment. His determination pushed Thatsaphone above his peers. He graduated in the top 7th of his high school class, with a 4.33 GPA.
Now a third year architecture student at the University of Oklhoma, Thatsaphone works as an intern for HNTB Corp, a big corporation that is in charge of designing and building the Atlanta airport terminals, a project in which he has a role.
In a recent interview, Thatsaphone described to VOA about himself and his perception of living in America, the land of opportunity: “My upbringing has driven me to the point that I’m at now. Since I’ve moved to the US from Laos, my family never had much, and we still don’t. It’s a critical stage in the transition into becoming assimilated into the culture of the US. My extended family is pretty much on the second generation Laotian-American. Like many other ethnic groups, the first and second generations usually have to work hard to establish an environment for the third generation to be able to live at a good level of standard of lving. I consider myself to be on the better half of the second generation line, I am working to provide a better life for my family before me and ensure stability for my family after me. That is what drives me, my family.”
In addition, Thatsaphone also talked about how he likes to work hard and keep on working, to get better in each and every thing he does. He adds, “Another driving factor is my inability to completely be satisfied with anything that I do. I always want to do better and believe that a higher level can be achieved.So, that drives me to keep going in whatever I do. The American Dream I guess…”
Thatsaphone concluded the interview with these words...“I like to set high goals for myself and I definitely put a lot of effort into achieving them. For me, there’s nothing better than a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day once you’ve met a goal.”
Listen to our audio files for more information.