Quynh Nhi Nguyen

Independence High School, San Jose

As an immigrant student, Quynh Nhi knows how education can change lives. To support other Asian immigrants in their efforts to learn, Nhi established the V-Fresh Club to bridge the connection between Asian immigrant students and their new community, and to help them understand how to navigate their new school. The 83 club members are learning to overcome barriers of language and lifestyle, and overcoming their own reservations to speak up for themselves, to ask for help, and to reclaim their own educational futures.

Nhi started as a leader with the Kito Vua choir at Lady of La Vang church. The youngest member at 13 years of age, she assumed the leadership role when the choir suddenly lost its pianist and choir director. Playing the piano while leading with confidence and professionalism, Nhi also helped create and organize the group’s activities. In her five years in the United States, Nhi has learned how to speak and act for results; she knows what she’s capable of, and she understands what it takes to translate ideas into action. In her own words, she’s proud of her accomplishments because she knows it’s not the end, but only the beginning of her service to the community.