Age:

18.

Parents’ names:

Cuong Nguyen (father), Thi Ho (mother).

 

Post-graduation plans:

I’m pursuing the digital media design program, an integrated program that combines math, art, and computer science, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dream job:

Something to do with computer graphics and animation (Pixar employee would be nice). I’ve also always wanted to start a nonprofit in Vietnam to offer free art classes for children.

Favorite class in high school:

Computer-aided design. This class and its instructor, Mr. Allee, actually inspired me to pursue a design-related career path in college.

Favorite club or extracurricular in high school:

Journalism and future problem solving.

Proudest accomplishment in high school:

Being able to write essays in English without using a translator. I started learning English when I first came to the States six years ago. Crafting an essay without a translator had always been a struggle for me until high school.

Best advice you’ve ever received:

Do more of what makes you happy.

Biggest lesson learned in high school:

It’s okay to be different. At the end of the day, those differences are what make me unique and interesting.

Future goals:

I can see myself as a zealous product designer who constantly looks for problems and comes up with solutions, or as an animator who creates worlds that help foster children’s creativity and imagination. I would also like to help establish an art department at my elementary school in Vietnam, whether it’s through designing the blueprint for the physical space or providing monetary support.

Favorite teacher:

Mr. Robert Allee (Computer-aided design Instructor), Mr. Gregory Irwin (AP world history teacher), and Mr. Matt Leuchtmann (eighth grade EEE teacher).

Person I admire and why:

My mother. Although we’ve been apart quite often (she has traveled a lot for her schooling and work), she has always been there for me in every part of my life. She’s emotionally and physically strong; she diligently and patiently works towards her goals; she does everything out of mere love. My mother is undoubtedly my biggest role model.

What you do for fun:

I love to talk to people about pretty much anything (ideally while walking out in nature). I also like to tinker with 3D modeling software and make random objects, like a robot or a lamp. I learned how to cook at a really young age, so I think I’m an avid cook. I can make anything from traditional Vietnamese foods to chocolate chip cookies to sushi.

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