From darkness to empowerment: Nghiem Vu Thu Loan’s journey at RMIT

From darkness to empowerment: Nghiem Vu Thu Loan’s journey at RMIT

A beacon for inspiration, RMIT Opportunity Scholarship awardee Nghiem Vu Thu Loan made the most out of what she was offered to realise her aspirations of serving the community.

In her scholarship acceptance speech at RMIT Vietnam’s Hanoi campus in 2019, the visually impaired student said: “Perhaps I am not the most superior student or the most intelligent student, but I am confident that I am the most diligent, persistent and proactive student, since I have big dreams and clear goals. I will use the knowledge gained at RMIT to improve the living conditions and education opportunities for my peers with disabilities”.

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title 'news-1-from-darkness-to-empowerment-nghiem-vu-thu-loan-journey-at-rmit' Nghiem Vu Thu Loan introduced her first book, titled ‘Giac mo noi thien duong’ (Dreams in Heaven).

Here she is five years later standing as a testament of triumph over adversity and a source of impact through the ripples of change she has made beyond her immediate community.

Words of empowerment

Despite childhood glaucoma and a severe accident that left her completely blind from an early age, Loan maintains a positive outlook in life. She is passionate about learning, experiencing new things and helping others facing similar challenges.

Loan has used her writing skills to advocate for those in need. As a media collaborator for the Hanoi Blind Association since the age of 14, she strived to raise awareness about the exclusion faced by people with disabilities. Her goal was to foster a better understanding of their capabilities within the broader community. She and a group of close friends have produced audio books for visually impaired students and then visually impaired people who are members of a club that she founded later.

Before joining RMIT Vietnam, Loan took a gap year for scholarship application preparation while working on her first collection of stories and non-fiction. Her joy upon being awarded the University’s Opportunity Scholarship was amplified by the debut of her book, titled “Giac mo noi thien duong” (Dreams in Heaven), which features colourful and heart-warming tales about resilient young individuals who persistently strive for success in life and work, much like Loan herself, despite the challenges posed by their disabilities.

The holistic and in-depth understanding about the industry along with the professional skills Loan gained from the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) has paved the way for her to embrace creative writing and copywriting.

“I believe in the power of communication in elevating the voices of people with disabilities.

“My initial aspiration of becoming a human rights writer has shifted during my time at RMIT. I found a more approachable way to reach mass audience,” Loan said.

It translated into her second book titled “Sang hon anh mat troi” (Brighter than the Sun), a collection of essays that weaves healing narratives, embedding information about people with disabilities and how they navigate through life.

Guiding light

Beyond her scholarly endeavours, Loan actively engages in various community activities, leaving an indelible mark on those she serves.

Alt Text is not present for this image, Taking dc:title 'news-2-from-darkness-to-empowerment-nghiem-vu-thu-loan-journey-at-rmit' Loan and her mother

Loan founded Step Club, an organisation dedicated to empowering visually impaired individuals, where she has orchestrated programs through which the club members can showcase their abilities and support one another during challenging times.

“Through wellbeing support, employability training and fundraising events, we empower our members to be more self-reliant and resilient,” she said.

Loan applied the extensive knowledge she gained from her studies at RMIT to various activities of her club. It included but was not limited to organising projects, managing operations, and crafting content for sponsorship proposals.

In addition to the club commitments, Loan actively involved in numerous social initiatives. She holds a pivotal role as the head of the Vietnam network of visually impaired students as part of Vietnam Blind Association and frequently serves as an inspirational guest speaker at community events for young audiences. At those events, Loan often shares her experiences and encourages others to pursue their dream fearlessly, “embrace your aspirations, defy stereotypes and listen to the calling of your heart”.

Reflecting on her journey at RMIT, Loan sees herself as more confident. She no longer underestimates herself but has let go of the quest of illusive aspirations.

“The scholarship has accelerated my endeavours.

“Freed from financial constraints, I can prioritise learning and experience over mere survival.

“My credibility, network and personal growth have been leveraged significantly,” Loan said.

Nghiem Vu Thu Loan’s unwavering dedication to community service exemplifies the transformative power of education, compassion, and resilience. Her legacy will undoubtedly continue to uplift and inspire those around her.

Story: Ha Hoang

  • Scholarships

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