Sonny Nguyen and Olympia in a Can

As IF you needed one more good reason to come to Oly in a Can this Wednesday, fate has delivered one into your hands, and unfortunately it’s not the kind we like to hear about. If you’ve been to any Bus event, you’ve met Sonny, he’s a longtime volunteer, our new(ish) Intern Coordinator, and a soon-to-be student at Evergreen in Oly (speak of the devil).

However, Sonny also has another description: he’s one of the thousands of students who just found out that the state-funded grant that would pay for a big chunk of his education was on hold for a year. Yes. Just frozen up. It’s trouble, and Sonny can put it better in his words.

I’m Sonny, the Intern Coordinator for the Washington Bus. I’ve been here pretty much as long as the Bus has been around. You probably already know that the proposed budget cuts to higher education funding are bad, like really, really bad. I didn’t really get the grasp of it until this weekend.

So on Saturday, there I am just being Sonny and coming back from a hike, and I see this letter on my coffee table. It’s from the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, which isn’t too out of the usual. During my senior year, I was awarded the WAVE Scholarship. Basically I took video production classes for three years and did pretty well so I the Workforce Board awarded me two years of free college.
I figure the letter on my coffee table must be a check up or little update or something, so I open it and pull out the one page letter and collapse.

Because of the budget crisis, there’s a possibility that all WAVE recipients are going to have their scholarships suspended for a year.
This sucks. A lot. It’s pretty ridiculous if you think about it.

“Hey Sonny, here’s some money! Go get yourself an education. SIKE! Just kidding, you’re on your own. You’ve got about six months to get together enough money for a college education. Good luck.”

There are 49 legislative district. The WAVE Scholarship is given to three students in each legislative district. So that’s 147 people a year that are awarded the scholarship. 147 people a year for the last few years have just gotten a letter saying that for their next year of tuition, they’re on their own. Surprise!

Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe this emotion.

Boo. That’s not tight. And Sonny’s not the only person to feel the pinch, there are thousands just like him – maybe it’s you. Sonny will be at Olympia in a Can, and he’s looking for some answers. Will you be there too?

Olympia in a Can
6-8 pm
Grey Gallery and Lounge (1512 11th Ave, on Capitol Hill)
Free, all-ages, sweet.


2 Responses to “Sonny Nguyen and Olympia in a Can”

  1. 1 206ttle
    January 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm


    It’s people like Sonny who make the world go ’round. For real. Talk about hitting home.

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