I grew up fatherless in a family of five during the post-Vietnam War era. My father was a P.O.W for thirteen years and during that time, my mother single-handedly raised five boys in a village with no running water, no electricity and no toilet. With our family earning a mere forty cents a day, our struggles overshadowed my academic dreams.
My father was granted asylum in the U.S. in 1993 and we arrived a year later. A family of seven, we lived in a small, roach-infested two-bedroom apartment in Alexandria, Virginia. Fascinated by the new world around me, I often dreamt big about my future. Watching my mother slave at three jobs and my father working the graveyard shift to support me and my four brothers motivated me to be financially independent. I worked odd jobs to alleviate the family’s financial pressure instead of attending classes throughout high school, eventually I dropping out of high school and moved out of my parents out.
At nineteen, I received an offer for an unpaid internship with an insurance firm. During six months of unpaid training, I slept in the car and my office cubicle until I was caught by the building’s janitor. “You are to not to use this building as a motel,” my manager said. Humiliated and embarrassed, I redoubled my efforts at work. My success at the insurance firm landed me at a brokerage firm as a stockbroker. After spending four years in financial services, my thirst for knowledge led me to return to school.
In 2008, I attended Northern Virginia Community College, where I was taking upwards of 20 credits while working full-time. A year later, I sold my practice and transferred to the University of Michigan, where I earned my BA in Political Science in just 3 years. After a stint at the Advisory Board and Merrill Lynch, I spent eight months learning to write code—this is when Bloomforth was born.
This blog is dedicated to all the dreamers out there who were once rejected, once was told that they won’t amount to anything, for those who aspire to improve themselves, and for the person who has lost all hope. I’m here to remind you that someone out there is rooting for you. Stay strong and positive.
Here’s a picture of my family taken in Vietnam. I’m the baby sitting on mom’s lap.