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In Their Shoes: Vietnamese Student Fulfills American Dream In Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - The Most Interesting Man in the World has nothing on Quan Nguyen.

The young man, who will tell you he's 23 and a half years-old, has lived an incredible life. Already.

And it is in that last half year when Quan's story went from interesting to "he did what?"

Quan grew up in Vietnam. He came to Boston with his mom four years ago, after waiting for a green card for 13 years. When he came here, he didn't know a word of English.

Quan Nguyen
Quan Nguyen. (WBZ-TV)

"I recall at that time, I sent my applications to everywhere. Dunkin Donuts. Starbucks. Market Basket. There was no response for two years."

So, he learned English and then became the first person in his family to get into college: Bunker Hill Community College.

There Quan won national awards. He was honored at the State House as one of the top 29 students in the state last year. Then last week, he won a much bigger academic award from Coca-Cola.

Quan loved Bunker Hill but had his sights set on a domed destination up the river. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Quan Nguyen
Quan and Linh. (WBZ-TV)

"I think 'OK MIT has a really cool program. I have to get that. But, MIT is highly selective so how can I do that?"

Yes. MIT is highly selective. But unlike when he wanted to bag groceries, this time Quan had an application that wouldn't be ignored.

"I called my mom immediately 'mom i got into MIT!"

In fact, MIT gave him a full scholarship to transfer.

The story can't get better. Unless there's a crazy story about how he met his wife Linh.

"We came from the same city in Vietnam. We went to same elementary and secondary school. But we didn't know each other until Bunker Hill!"

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