What are ABFK Stars:
ABFK Stars is our newest feature where we handpick students who deserve the limelight. We choose the ABFK Star of the Month by recognizing individuals who have gone above and beyond. We look for those who have taken initiative, helped their community, grown personally, and have made impressive accomplishments.
Without further adieu, this month’s ABFK Star: Vy Thai.
Who is Vy:
Vy’s parents are from Vietnam and moved to America to set up a better life for their children. Vy was born and raised in San Diego, alongside her two twin brothers (yes, triplets) who are all currently Juniors at The Preuss School. This unique household dynamic has made Vy, and her siblings, become quite accustomed to a great life skill: compromising and sharing. Being a twin or triplet means you basically have to share everything with your siblings, your hobbies, sports, school, and especially your time. Sometimes that means participating in some things she’s not so fond of, like Chess Club. During Vy’s elementary years, she attended a Chinese immersion school. Prior to attending this school, Vy didn’t speak a lick of Mandarin. She noted it was challenging at the start because in school she would spend time learning the language, and then learning material in that language. This instilled core values of a strong work ethic in Vy at a young age, and it shows to this day how hard Vy works.
What Makes Vy a Star:
On top of Vy’s 4.3 GPA in middle school and high school, Vy is very active and plays a key role in many aspects of her community. On campus, Vy is the former president of Interact Club – a community service-based club. While president of this club she scheduled and coordinated at least one event per month. One thing she is especially proud of was the implementation of the “Peace Pole” in her school’s Zen Garden. As president, she and her peers at Interact Club gave a speech to Preuss administrators and La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club members on what peace meant to them. Here is some of what Vy said:
“Peace is a word that can have various meanings, but it is ultimately shaped by our personal experiences… To us, peace means understanding and communication. We have learned that by collaborating with one another and genuinely listening, any issue will eventually be resolved where both sides can be satisfied. In the simplest terms, we believe that peace will always be achieved through understanding and communication.”
Alongside Interact Club, Vy has dedicated over 100+ hours of work at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. Every Saturday Vy volunteers her time to help her local hospital in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) department. She was inspired to start doing this because she is interested in a career in the medical industry and wanted to get a solid feel for the environment. She noted that it’s been a learning experience and is planning to switch departments soon as she would like to work more with the patients because the majority of MICU patients are unconscious.
Vy was also accepted into a bioengineering internship program called OPAL (Short for “Outreach Program for Advanced Learning in STEM”). This was a six-week program at UCSD, where Vy got hands-on experience working in a lab. Upon arriving, Vy was nervous and honored to have been grouped with such high-achieving peers. She recalled having a bit of “imposter syndrome” as she felt she wasn’t as qualified as the others. This soon faded as she found her groove working on “calcium signaling following laser-induced shockwaves in nerve cells” and became close with all of the other interns, who she still talks to today.
Lastly, a few of Vy’s other accomplishments include:
- Vy was inducted as a Member of the Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society and National Honor Society
- Vy plays an essential role in Outreach Coordination for the Asian American/Pacific Islander Club (AAPI)
- AND Vy is now learning how to rock climb through ABFK’s Health & Wellness Arete Program!