For Vi Ly, student accounts specialist and lead cashier, his Irvine office is a “home away from home.” And by home, he means his family, his rescue dog Doo and his memories of Vietnam, as shown with a variety of mementos and pictures.
Lining the top of shelves are three wood wise monkey who “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.” There’s also a miniature “xich lo” cyclo. If he had remained in Vietnam, he would likely be pedaling a cyclo or working at a food stall to make a living. Also on his desk is a money tree, an easy-to-grow plan commonly used in feng shui to bring good fortune and luck to an office or home.
Ly came to the U.S. with his family in 1980. He learned to speak English in six months and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cal State San Bernardino in 2007, two decades after graduating from high school and while working full time and supporting his family. He is the first person in his family to graduate from high school and college, opportunities he says would not have been possible if his family had stayed in Vietnam.
Working at Brandman has been “exciting, challenging and rewarding” and he uses his bookkeeping skills daily to maintain and improve the cashiering function for the university.