Noan came to the United States in 2006. Although he came from Vietnam, he is not Vietnamese; instead, he belongs to a minority ethnic group known as the Montagnards. Because the Montagnards assisted the U.S. in the Vietnam war, they are subject to persecution and therefore have refugee status in the U.S.
In order to avoid arrest, Noan and his father lived in the jungle for two years, drinking sometimes contaminated water and eating mostly leaves, before finding their way to Cambodia and then to the U.S. Noan suffers from a hearing loss in both ears which traces back to lack of medical treatment during his childhood.
Noan started working at BSH in 2012 as a “temporary” employee. After taking classes at Craven Community College and receiving tutoring at the Craven Literacy Council, he passed a literacy test at BSH which qualified him to be a “permanent” employee. This has made a huge difference in his life as this gave him medical benefits. It is hoped that his recent ear surgery will result in long term improvement.
Noan met all the requirements for citizenship and passed the citizenship test, along with his wife who is also a CLC student. He and his wife live with their four children in a house that they purchased from Habitat for Humanity. While he has come a long way, he still has goals; specifically to someday obtain a G.E.D. degree. Noan is very appreciative of the help he has received from the CLC.