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Bakery named for Laotian refugee couple funds scholarships for UConn students taking Asian American studies

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Khamla Vorasane, owner of the Hartford Bakery, has started a scholarship fund of $6000 for students of the University of Connecticut (UConn) taking classes in Asian and Asian American studies.

Honor her parents: Vorasane, the owner of BouNom Bakery in Avon, was named the Nom & Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship after her late parents.

  • Vorasane wanted to honor her late parents who immigrated to the United States in the wake of the Vietnam War. Her father, Bo, was a military man who fought on the side of the United States in Vietnam. He was arrested and she, her mother, and her four siblings hid.

  • When Bo was released, he made his way to Thailand and arranged for his wife, Nome, and the children to join him. The family crossed the Mekong River from Laos to Thailand in the middle of the night. After leaving Thailand, Bo and Nome sought asylum in the United States in 1980.

  • Bou and Nom moved the family to Abilene, Texas, where they urged their children to get a good education. Vorasane said scholarships, grants, and loans funded her degree in history and political science from Texas Christian University.

Bread for a good reason: Vorasane opened the French bakery, located in Avon, in early 2020 with her sister, and “BouNom” is a combination of their parents’ names, Nom and Boulieng Vorasane.

  • The Nom & Boulieng Vorasane Scholarship is for UConn students studying to be teachers who take classes in Asian and Asian American Studies. The scholarship will be administered by the Institute of Asian and American Studies at UConn.

  • “If you ask people about the history of Asian Americans, all they know is that the Chinese came and built the railroads,” Forasan said. Hartford Courant. “We wanted a broader idea of ​​how Asian Americans have been an integral part of the growth of the United States.”

  • Jason Chang, director of the University Institute, told Hartford Courant that educational majors must take classes in the university’s Asian and Asian Studies program to qualify for the scholarship.

  • Applicants will be judged based on an essay on their vision of contributing to society through education.

  • Zhang said it is the first scholarship offered by the institute that focuses on education rather than research.

  • Vorasane’s donation of $6,000 will fund prizes worth $2,000 for three years. The awards will continue beyond those three years if sufficient funds are raised.

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Previous charitable works: Vorasane and her sister Chan Graham previously raised $4,000 through their bakery in March.

  • They spent a day raising money for groups fighting discrimination against Asians, according to WFSB.

  • “When we saw the news about AtlantaBeing Asian-American, it really came out and we said we have to return the favor, we have to do something to honor the victims, and we have to highlight the Asian hatred that is happening.”

  • The success of their March effort inspired the Scholarship Initiative.

Featured Image via WTNH

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