After posting perfect grades on a transcript laden with college-level courses and being accepted to some of the country’s best Ivy League institutions, AnhViet Nguyen has a simple goal this summer.
“I’ll probably learn to drive,” he said.
The 18-year-old credits his climb to the top of the academic ladder by mastering the balancing act of high school and “applying excellence” to every opportunity. Being involved in leadership, journalism, basketball and music on top of it all hasn’t left much room for things like driver’s education.
“Pretty much I made school my second home,” he said.
Oh, and then there’s sleep.
“But that’s not part of the equation,” he said with a laugh. “Those sleepless nights are going to be worth it.”
Nguyen, who plans to attend Stanford University this fall, counts the relationships he’s built at Mountlake Terrace High School as one of the best parts of the last four years. Those include colleagues in student leadership, where he served as Associated Student Body president this year, and on the student newspaper, The Hawkeye, where he’s an award-winning reporter. Those also include the peers he coaxed to school activities and interviewed as part of those roles.
In addition, he’s a recognized scholar-athlete, competing as a guard on the basketball team that took fourth place at state this year. A knee injury in January prevented Nguyen from playing at that big game, but he attended practices and games through the season and at Tacoma.
He’s also played tennis and performed with the chamber winds ensemble on clarinet. He has a 4.0 GPA, and his final class list includes four college-level Advanced Placement courses.
At Stanford, Nguyen looks forward to exploring political science or international relations and seeing where his desire to lead takes him.
He places his parents, Binh Nguyen and Anh Ngo, at the top of his list of influences.
“I know they’re going to miss me when I go to college. … They’ve been there every step of the way,” the teen said.
There’s an app on the teen’s cellphone counting down to his school’s June 13 commencement.
“It’s a little bittersweet being in high school and the amazing experiences I’ve had so far,” Nguyen said. “I’m looking forward to the new challenges and experiences I will have at Stanford.”
Class of 2013