Graduates of CNM: Anh Nguyen

Thanks to funding from the CNM Foundation, Anh was able to excel at CNM and is on her way to a new career
November 02, 2021

Anh Nguyen grew up in a rural area of Vietnam. As a result, accessing health services was often difficult. She remembers one instance where a group of students came to her town to provide dental services and they ended up helping many people she knew with important problems.

“That definitely inspired me to eventually become a dental hygienist,” she says.

She had worked in health care in Vietnam but decided to pursue dental hygiene school in the United States. She moved here in 2018 and first worked as a babysitter and then a nail technician as a way to save money for tuition. Finally, her husband enrolled at CNM and told her that she should apply, too. With the help of her advisors, Anh learned she could study Dental Hygiene and that college could be affordable for her if she applied for scholarships.

One important scholarship she applied to was the Everest Endowment that’s awarded by the CNM Foundation. Established by former Foundation Board member Natasha Martell-Jackson, it’s given to students who have a compelling personal story and have achieved a high level of academic excellence. It paid her tuition, and Anh says the scholarship allowed her to really focus on school. 

“If I didn’t have that scholarship I would have had to work more hours, which would have made my grades slip,” she says. 

Thanks to her dedication and help from CNM, Anh graduated this past summer with her associate degree and now plans to attend UNM’s Health Science Program en route to becoming a dental hygienist. 

She recently spoke at the CNM Foundation’s annual Donor Dinner as one of four Foundation scholarship recipients. The dinner provides financial donors with a chance to meet some of the students whom they’ve helped. Anh says she was both honored and scared by the opportunity. 

“I was really worried I was going to mess up. I thought to myself, ‘can I do it?’” she says. “But then I realized my story can inspire people and that someone might hear my speech and think, ‘that girl can do it and so can I.’”

Anh says she also had a clear message for the donors themselves. 

 “I don’t think I would have been able to finish at CNM this easily without help from the donors. They not only helped me with money, but also made me feel supported. And for that, I am truly grateful.” 

Students can learn more about CNM’s scholarships and find out which ones they qualify for with this simple form.