Keeping Anna Bui’s aspirations alive

Anna BuiThe family of Anna Bui is starting an endowment fund to honor the memory of the University of Washington Bothell student who was fatally shot last summer at a gathering in Mukilteo.

Anna’s older siblings, David and Anny, say the study abroad scholarship will assist students whose interests are similar to their adventurous sister’s – those who want to experience what the world has to offer and, at the same time, enrich the lives of others. 

A study abroad can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year. The Anna Bui World of Hope Fund will help students who might otherwise be unable to take advantage of such a transformational experience.

Anna didn’t study abroad, but she traveled in Europe for three weeks over the summer, much of the time with her sister. “And that’s the happiest I’ve seen her,” says Anny, who says her first name is similar to Anna’s because their parents liked it. Anna wanted to study abroad to improve on her high school Spanish.

One reason the family chose an endowment is because they have heard from so many people who knew Anna from the University, high school, work or singing in choirs. They want to remember her.

“She made an impact on everyone. I can see that in the community coming together. So we have to do something for her,” says Anny, 23, the oldest of four siblings.

“She was loving and she was funny. She would see the good in everyone. She wanted to dedicate her life to other people and bettering the world,” says Anny, a 2015 University of Washington graduate in speech and hearing sciences who lives in Everett. “She would love to sponsor that in others with her scholarship.”

Anna BuiPart of a process of honoring Anna is let people know who she was and to keep that going, the family says.

Anna also loved to sing, “and that’s how she expressed her love for people,” Anny says. Anna sang in her Kamiak High School choir and also with a Vietnamese youth group affiliated with Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Everett. She also helped start the Beardslee Blvd. band at UW Bothell as part of a class assignment.  

One of the people the family has heard from is an interviewer who handled Anna’s application  at UW Medicine volunteer services.  In answer to the question about why she wanted the position, Anna’s response was she had a lot of love in her heart to share with others. 

“I think Anna growing up had this in her,” Anny says. “She always wanted peace and she wanted the best for everyone.”

Anna had started working weekends at a senior home in Bothell. She was proud of earning a certificate as a nursing assistant and planned to earn a degree in nursing. She was inspired by seeing nurses who had helped her grandmother during a hospital stay, says David. The siblings spoke for the family, which includes a 13-year-old brother and the parents at their home Everett.

“Anna always had her way with people. It’s hard not to like her. It could be anyone from her employer to someone she just met traveling the world,” says David, a student at Western Washington University, majoring in management information systems. “She left an impact on them one way or another. The endowment is one way to give back in Anna’s name.”

UW Bothell faculty members remember Anna as a “bright light” in class. Friends recall her laugh and smile. 

A few weeks after her summer travel, the 19-year-old was attending a gathering with friends from Kamiak High School on July 30th when she and two other people were killed.

Here is a piece that Anna once wrote:

"My hopes for this world are that gas prices go down, there is less poverty and that God blesses everyone with happiness. I pray that my future is filled with miracles and blessings from God. I thank him for everything he has given me today. I know I used to think I had nothing, but I was so wrong, Life is so wonderful. Don't waste it. Love and accept yourself because you are only you and that should be enough. You are beautiful and special in your own way. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. Keep your head up and be proud of who you are because you are loved. Don't feel lonely because you are loved. Remember you have SWAG (swagger) and YOLO (you only live once)."

Read how to contribute to the Anna Bui scholarship fund.

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(Photos courtesy of Anna Bui family)