Central High School senior graduating despite dealing with losing mom and brother

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Ploua Xiong knows the meaning of perseverance. (KFSN)

Ploua Xiong knows the meaning of perseverance.

"If I just give up then I'm giving up on everyone not just me, like everyone around me."

Xiong learned to adapt at a young age when her family moved to the United States from Thailand. She learned how to speak English in elementary school and eventually overcame her language barrier, but her family's toughest times were still ahead.

"Everything feels like its fake."

Xiong's mom died suddenly during her sophomore year.

"When I lost her it was like I'm being thrown in a dark hole, I'm thinking how am I going to survive without her."

Two school years later as a senior, Xiong lost her brother.

"Sorry-- I lost him this year, first semester, on the day before my birthday."

While grieving the loss of her loved ones, the Central High West campus student said the love from her family and support from her school is what got her through these trying times. Now, Xiong is on the path to become a nurse and just recently became a state certified nursing assistant.

" Ploua is one of the reasons I come to work every day, she really is an outstanding student and has really overcome a lot through life and has really understood that that shouldn't hold her back," said Steven Holdridge, nursing instructor.

Xiong will be attending Fresno City College to enroll in their nursing program in the fall, and said although her mom and brother won't get to be at her graduation she knows they are watching over her every step of the way.

"I can't just give up, not yet."
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educationgraduationfresno countycentral unified school districtFresno County
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