Student Projects

Laura Waxmann and Tara Haghighi traveled to Vietnam in summer 2010 as part of the Renaissance Journalism Center’s Vietnam Reporting Project.  San Francisco State University Professor Yumi Wilson traveled with them as their editor. Their stories were published in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 27, 2010.  At the time of the project, both Laura and Tara were SFSU journalism students at San Francisco State. Both have since graduated from San Francisco State.

Blind man helps young Vietnamese find better life

Nguyen Quoc Phong created a boarding school for the blind after losing his sight in a traffic accident around age 40. There are an estimated 3.9 million vision impaired, the nation’s most common physical disability, according to a 2009 government census. Some believe the high number may be due to Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.

Young Vietnamese disabled cope in Ho Chi Minh City

The YMCA Vocational Orientation Club for Disabled Youth offers free room and board, and job training to a growing number of young Vietnamese disabled by disease, accidents or exposure to Agent Orange who have left their rural homes in search of jobs, education and acceptance in the nation’s booming urban centers.


About Tara Haghighi and Laura Waxmann

Tara Haghighi was raised in San Jose before moving to Palo Alto for high school. When she first came to San Francisco State University, she wanted to be a nurse. But after taking a course in journalism, she realized that she wanted to be a writer. In the fall of 2009, Tara became the paper’s breaking news editor. Born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany, Laura Waxmann began learning English in the third grade and became infatuated with the language almost immediately. At 17 she won a writing contest sponsored by Oprah Winfrey and not only appeared on the show, but also received a scholarship that allowed her to fulfill a long-time dream to study in the United States.

Comments are closed.