'Gritty faith that education can change destinies'
From a recent Nicholas Kristof column in the New York Times (which the St. Petersburg Times picked up and ran today):
THU THUA, Vietnam - Sometimes you see your own country more sharply from a distance. That’s how I felt as I dropped in on a shack in this remote area of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. The head of the impoverished household during the week is a malnourished 14-year-old girl, Dao Ngoc Phung. She’s tiny, standing just 4 feet 11 inches and weighing 97 pounds. Yet if Phung is achingly fragile, she’s also breathtakingly strong. You appreciate the challenges that America faces in global competitiveness when you learn that Phung is so obsessed with schoolwork that she sets her alarm for 3 a.m. each day.