Hien Nguyen, a member of Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Happy Valley, is the recipient of a grant from the Fund for Vocations, a nonprofit that pays student loan debt so individuals can enter religious formation.

Nguyen soon will begin formation with the Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province in Houston. The 24-year-old, who attended Portland State University, was among the 13 grant recipients announced in March. All awardees are young men and women aspiring to pursue vocations to the Catholic priesthood or vowed religious life.

As a prerequisite to entering formation, many religious orders require men and women to be free of debt, including student loan debt, so they can take a vow of poverty. Grants from the Fund for Vocations cover the beneficiaries’ monthly student loan payments during formation and pay off any remaining balance after final vows.

For the second time in the organization’s 15-year history, the fund was able to approve all qualified applications received this year.