Higley High School senior Katherine Nguyen graduates in May with a proven impact on diverse organizations and the community.
Nguyen doesn’t believe in simply being there. She spent two years as president of International Club. She’s currently the vice president of Math Club, treasurer of National Honor Society and treasurer of Academic Decathlon. She also teaches in a Vietnamese education program outside of school.
Despite having the power to make ruling decisions, she said she believes in using her talents and her voice to amplify the opinions of her peers and those around her.
“Higley has taught me that, within leadership, your individual ideas matter,” Nguyen said. “Nowadays, people are so ruled by majority, right? They think that one vote won’t count, but it really does. By offering your ideas to a wide majority of people, you can really make a difference.”
Her experience with International Club has particularly inspired her growth, teaching her patience, diligence and how to unite and improve a community of ideas, she said.
“Through International Club, I’ve gotten the opportunity to foster cultural acceptance and widespread enthusiasm for other world cultures and people living in other countries,” Nguyen said, explaining that she inspired students to write cards for children around the world, as well as volunteer with Feed My Starving Children to help people in developing countries.
As she graduates with hopes to study biochemistry before continuing on to a master and PhD programs, Nguyen believes Higley High’s leadership-focused programs have proven to her that academics are not just about competition: they’re about collaboration. She said her inclusive education helped her gain academic scholarships, build trust and more.
“You’re not ashamed anymore of what you have to offer, because really, no ideas are wrong ideas,” Nguyen said. “By improving your characteristics, your leadership qualities, your societal connections … that’s what really allows me to get those experiences.”