US college honors cerebral palsied Vietnamese IT student

Tran Manh Chanh Quan is affectionately dubbed ‘The Penguin of Vietnam’

Tran Manh Chanh Quan poses in his wheelchair in front of Internet giant Google’s headquarters in California, the U.S. after sitting for their interview in November 2016.

A Vietnamese cerebral palsied student has received an honor from a U.S. college for his ceaseless efforts and silent contributions to the institution.

Georgia Gwinnett College, located in Georgia, has conferred the ‘Unsung Hero’ title on Tran Manh Chanh Quan, a Vietnamese student who suffers cerebral palsy, a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture.

Quan, 25, revealed the accolade is bestowed on students in recognition of their tremendous efforts in life and studies which inspire others and their nameless contributions to the school.

The student, dubbed ‘The Penguin of Vietnam,’ earned the honor on a nomination by the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP).

Quan was selected by his school to attend several of AITP’s seminars and contests studded with representatives of computer and Internet giants including IBM, Google, Microsoft and Oracle.

He secured the second spot at the 2015 AITP Code-a-thon contest, which attracted more than 50 schools across the U.S.

His team also nabbed a silver medal at the 2016 ACM Southeast USA Regional Intercollegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC SER).

Quan, who hails from the southern Vietnamese province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, was born with cerebral palsy, which has left him unable to speak and walk properly or hold things in his hands. 

The boy surmounted sheer hurdles to excel in school. He once shared he had to tie his feet during his elementary school years to better maneuver his hands on the computer keyboard.

He went on to claim a prize at a national exam for outstanding students in information technology in his 12th grade. 

A U.S. university then offered him a partial scholarship in IT and math to help him pursue his programming career.

The strong-willed man has battled hard to survive alone and shine in his studies in the U.S, with assistance from some of his professors and friends.

In November 2016, Quan was invited to Google’s headquarters in the U.S. for an interview as a software engineer, but the result was not what he had expected.

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