Our Stories: Kha, Scholar (2009)

Vong Discovery DaysKha is the son of vegetable farmers in rural Vietnam who came to the U.S. when he was 17. His high school counselor wrote that he is “simply one of the best mathematical minds this or any Virginia high school will ever see.” He placed 3rd in Vietnam’s national physics competition, earned perfect scores on the International Baccalaureate and SAT exams in math, and graduated from high school with straight A’s—all while working 20 hours a week at Popeye’s Chicken.

After attending UVA on an Esperanza scholarship and graduating with a B.S. in physics and aerospace engineering with highest distinction, Kha won a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics.