Are you an Asian American student graduating from high school or college? You may be eligible for the Northwest Asian Weekly’s Outstanding Graduates column.
To qualify, you must have a minimum GPA of 3.6, have overcome personal adversity, or are an outstanding athlete, community volunteer, or artist.
Highline High School
“I am motivated …because I will be the first and only person in my family to go on to college.”
As the saying goes, “There’s a first time for everything,” and Thang Nguyen takes it to heart as he makes way for a future of his own.
Nguyen says he is most proud of his senior project. He raised 76 pounds of canned food for the White Center Food Bank.
He plans to study criminal justice or law enforcement as an undergraduate student before attending law school.
Academic success isn’t the only thing Nguyen has faith in. He says he is a proud member of Hope Christian Church.
In high school, Nguyen was awarded for earning top marks in his class. He was named the Discovery Student during a semester and was also recognized as the student of the month by his local rotary club.
Voted by his high school’s varsity tennis teammates, Nguyen was given the Most Improved Player award. He was also the captain of his high school’s varsity basketball team.
Nguyen graduated with a GPA of 3.8 and will attend the University of Puget Sound.
Ballard High School
“I understand and have experienced what it means to be an Asian American. Having lived in China and having family I have grown to know and love in Japan, I feel I have the unique opportunity to live my life by experiencing the best of both worlds.”
Until the age of 8, Emiko Kobayashi lived in an orphanage in Guilin, China.
When she was 5 years old, she had to say goodbye to her best friend Kiana, who was adopted by an American family. However, the two were reunited as sisters when Kobayashi was also adopted into the family.
Since then, Kobayashi has extended her family to include the homeless she feeds every Thursday in Court Yard Park in downtown Seattle, the elderly she feeds and socializes with at Keiro Nursing home, and the students she met in Uganda while building libraries.
Having learned so much about people from serving the community, Kobayashi said she wants to study health sciences and Mandarin in college. She wants to eventually attend the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and join the Peace Corp.
Kobayashi graduated with a 3.79 GPA and will attend the University of Washington.
Mountlake Terrace High School
“Like any other teenager, I love to spend time with my friends and family.”
Michelle Liu was voted as the “110 percent hardest worker” by her high school varsity swim team.
The athlete swam her way to the Northwest District 4A championships with her team and received three varsity athletic awards.
Lin was the vice president of her school’s student body and concertmaster of her high school chamber orchestra. Her academic success placed her in the National Honor Society. Her dedication to service put her in the Key Club.
For her senior project, Liu recorded six piano pieces in a studio — she has been studying the piano for 12 years.
In her spare time, Liu said she volunteers at the Mountlake Terrace Library as a member of the Teen Advisory Board. She also served on the Edmonds School District Food Service Advisory Council.
Liu graduated with a GPA of 3.99 and will attend the University of Washington.
Shorewood High School
“I am still searching — searching for that purpose that eludes me.”
Mei-Ling Schulz says that when she traveled to Mexico for a community development project, she became ill, miserable, and homesick. However, the trip was also one of the greatest experiences of her entire life.
To those who know Shulz, it is no surprise that she found herself in this predicament — she’s into a little bit of everything.
Shulz studied Spanish and Japanese at Shoreline Community College. Her travels around the world have helped her discover her love for languages.
Shulz loves the ability to connect with others through speaking different languages. Her career plans include becoming a journalist, interpreter, ambassador, or editor.
She is considering the pre-medicine program. She hopes to study abroad in college and share what she learns with others.
Shulz got in touch with her Chinese roots by entering the Miss Chinese Seattle Scholarship Pageant for Women. She hopes to be one of the “lucky winners” who will travel to Hong Kong next year and compete in the international pageant.
Schulz graduated with a GPA of 3.9 and will attend the University of Washington. ♦