Na Pham’s five-year wait is over as she takes the first step towards a dream she brought to the Ozarks from her homeland of Vietnam in 2010.
She wants to be a pharmacist.
The program was developed in response to current and projected shortages of pharmacy professionals in the state, particularly in underserved rural areas.
Na, who graduated from OTC in 2014 with an associate of arts in chemistry, will be one of several OTC graduates who will take advantage of the close proximity of the program.
“It’s convenient that it is offered across the street,” Na said in reference to how close the Springfield campuses of OTC and MSU are to each other.
Na was an Honors Program student at OTC and impressed Todd Yerby, the program’s director.
“Na was a tremendous student and overall just a very nice and caring person. She is exceptionally hardworking and extremely personable,” Yerby said.
“She came to OTC with big dreams, and through hard work and dedication, she was able to create a path to those dreams. She is going to do great in her pharmacy program and I am happy that OTC and the OTC Honors Program could help her accomplish her dreams.”
Na has worked in the OTC Speckman Tutoring and Learning Center since 2013, helping other students who were having difficulties in mathematics.
“Na has been such a joy to know, work with, and become friends with. She is very hardworking, demonstrates excellent study skills, and is extremely encouraging of other students. Na will take time away from her studies to help another student and is always very humble,” said Tara Lacio, another TLC math tutor who worked with Na.
Na said the tutoring center workers were her second family.
“Everybody was so helpful,” she said.
And if it wasn’t for the education she received at OTC, Na admits she wouldn’t be going anywhere.
“I received a good education here that helped me meet the requirements to get into the program,” she said. “The teachers here were really helpful. Somebody was always there to help me.