Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vietnamese-American graduates honored

Three Spring Branch ISD valedictorians and one salutatorian were honored recently during an annual Vietnamese-American luncheon.

A Westchester Academy for International Studies graduate was also awarded a special scholarship. Honored at the Vietnamese-American Youth Excellence Luncheon held at Kim Son Bellaire Ballroom were 23 regional high school valedictorians and salutatorians.

The special luncheon for graduates has been held for 17 years. Honorees include district valedictorians Jennifer Hoang and Kaitlin Kargar, both of Westchester Academy for International Studies, and Kim Nguyen of Spring Woods High School.

Salutatorian Diane Duong, also of Spring Woods High, was also honored at the event.

Principals Jennifer Parker of Spring Woods High and Lead Counselor Beverly Martin of Westchester Academy for International Studies represented their schools and the district.

During the luncheon, Jennifer Hoang of Westchester Academy was awarded the Nicholas C. LePham Citizenship and Public Service Award, which included a $1,000 scholarship. Nicholas LePham is a graduate of Tufts University in Boston.

He established the scholarship to encourage civic participation, leadership and service among Vietnamese-American students, among other goals. The luncheon’s keynote speaker was Dr. Quyen Chu, who is the Charles Knight endowed professor of surgery at Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.

A graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Dr. Chu has written 150 medical articles, been awarded $200,000 in grants, and edited the Vietnamese translation of the World Health Organization book, “Surgical Care at a District Hospital.”

Local politicians who attended included Texas State Reps. Gene Wu and Rick Miller, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, and U.S. Congressman John Culberson. Members of the Asian Chamber of Commerce and local representatives from Shell Oil and ExxonMobil also attended.


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