Next Step Alumni Spotlight: Yen Phung Vo

By Roxana Perez and Vita Soto

Welcome to the Next Step Alumni Spotlight! Every month throughout the school year we will highlight a Next Step Alumni that has received their GED to check in and see how they are doing and what they’ve been up to since graduating from Next Step PCS.

For this month, we interviewed Yen Phung Vo who graduated from Next Step in 2011 with her GED.


Q: Where were you born? How did you hear about Next Step?
I was born in Vietnam and I heard about Next Step when I came to the Vietnamese-American Community Service Center. The Director of VACSC introduced me to Next Step.

Q: What attracted you to Next Step and how was your experience?
The teachers, staff and friends were really friendly and nice. They helped me improve my English and go through my difficult time when I first came to the USA.

Q: In what language did you take the GED exam?
I took the English GED exam.

Q: Is English your native language?  If not, what is your native language?
No, my native language is Vietnamese.

Q: How long did it take you to pass the GED?
I took me a year and a half to pass the GED.

 Q: What was your motivation for getting your GED?
My motivation to get my GED was my family; I want them to be proud of me. Also, I wanted to go to college as soon as possible, which was another motivation for trying to get my GED.

Q: Did you ever feel frustrated during your time at Next Step?  
Yes, when I first came to school I didn’t know how to communicate with my teachers or my friends because I didn’t know much English.

What helped you pass the GED? 
My teachers and staff helped me a lot to achieve my goals. They were always by my side whenever I needed their help; they spent time to help me practice before I went to take the test.  

Q: What advice would you give to current students that are attempting to pass the GED?
A: I know the GED isn’t as easy as you think but don’t give up! Don’t hesitate to ask your teachers when you need help and try to practice for the exam as much as you can! Practice can help you improve writing, reading, and math skills!

Q: What are you doing now?
I just finished my associate’s degree and am continuing towards my bachelor’s degree.

Q: What’s the best part about your job and/or school?
Learning new things and improving my English skills are the best part about my job and school.

Q: What are your future professional goals?
I want to work as an Accountant.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
I like watching game shows or movies. I also like to travel and take pictures.