Award well earned

BVH senior receives February’s Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the month award


William Maywood

Senior, Vivian Nguyen helps sophomore Amelia Roy with her speech for an upcoming tournament for speech and debate. Besides being secretary for speech and debate Nguyen is the vice president of hookes club, and involved in AP/IB courses.

Isabella Garcia, Sports Editor

As Feb. begins, another Bonita Vista High (BVH) student was awarded the Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the month award. Last year, graduated senior Pablo Shimizu received it for the month of Jan. Secretary of Speech and Debate, Vice President of Hooke’s club and senior Vivian Nguyen acquired February’s award and will be receiving a 750 dollar scholarship, plaque and certificate after being selected from the handful of applicants.

For students that plan on going to college after they graduate high school, it can be expensive without any form of financial aid. Most students like Nguyen consider applying for scholarships to bring down the costs of college through any available opportunities.

“My goal is to go to a college, specifically majoring in biochemistry. College is expensive, so buying books is the first step in college and education as a whole. I thought that applying to scholarships early on would help prepare me,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen applied for the Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the month scholarship over winter break by using the BVH counselors’ scholarship bulletin Google Document. The Google Document is a resource where counselors place on-going scholarships for BVH students. This scholarship wasn’t the only one she applied for within the Chula Vista Elks Lodge’s scholarship program, according to Chula Vista Elks Lodge representative Jack Strasser, a chairman who judged Nguyen’s scholarship application.

Vivian also applied to the Elks Most Valuable Student National scholarship. Her application is currently at [the highest level] national judging, having been promoted through District and State judging,” Strasser said.

Nguyen’s other scholarship application is currently being judged with different applicants nationally. In addition to the Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the month of February award she will be receiving in the next week or two, her application will be passed forward as a candidate for Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the year award.

“Vivian was selected [for the scholarship] based on her academic performance, her awards and honors, her leadership in school activities, her community service and the excellence of her essay,” Strasser said.

Currently, Nguyen is taking International Baccalaureate English Higher Level 2, Advanced Placement (AP) literature, AP calculus, AP chemistry, AP government and Speech and Debate. Nguyen included her 4.46 GPA within her application to showcase her academic performance and her volunteer work in several BVH clubs and related workshops. Having a competitive application throughout is what the judges looked for when selecting the applicant to receive the scholarship.

“[Being selected for the scholarship] was a cumulation of work I did last semester, not just academically and through my extracurriculars, but also on my application itself,” Nguyen said. “A lot of the information I put on the application, I put in my college applications as well. So [I was] able to cross apply those [essays] to be fully developed [into one]. It was several months of work put into the application.”

The scholarship recognizes students that are overachievers and deserve recognition for their work. I think Vivian is the perfect student to represent the scholarship,

— President of Speech and Debate and senior Giselle Geering

The “concoction” of college essays Nguyen previously referred to is what she used to create the essay for her scholarship application. Nguyen mentions that when writing her essays she received feedback from peers and the advisor of Speech and Debate. Thus, inspiring her essay for the scholarship application. One who assisted in her essay revision process is President of Speech and Debate and senior Giselle Geering.

“I’m really proud of her, she deserves it. She works really hard in everything she does and is always trying to be better,” Geering said. “The scholarship recognizes students that are overachievers and deserve recognition for their work. I think Vivian is the perfect student to represent the scholarship.”

Geering mentions how “well-rounded” of a student Nguyen is, therefore resulting in Nguyen being selected for the scholarship. Geering comments on how she has gotten to build a stronger friendship with Nguyen and notices the growth in both her academics and overall personality.

“People who win this award are passionate, driven and determined not just to do what’s expected of them, but to do more and that perfectly defines Vivian,” Geering said. “She’s always curious [and] doesn’t want to accept something at face value. She’s always asking questions [about] science and questioning [what’s being] taught.”

Nguyen expresses her gratitude towards those around her and how they have assisted her in her scholarship process. She comments on her experience in finding out the acceptance of the February, Chula Vista Elks Lodge Teenager of the month scholarship.

“I was in the car [when] I got the email. It was a pleasant surprise because it was a long day and was late at night,” Nguyen said. “I didn’t really tell [my parents] that I was applying for the scholarship, [but when] I told them, they were really happy for me.”

As Nguyen looks to the future, she explains her hopes to receive more scholarships as her current applications are pending. She describes the growth that she’s made as a person when writing and applying for various types of scholarships, ranging in topics.

“It’s fun to explore yourself through those scholarships. Writing those essays make you reflect on yourself as a person, where you are and how you can improve in the future,” Nguyen said. “[Scholarships] prepare me for what’s to come in college because when you’re pursuing science you have to apply for grants and it’s a similar process to scholarships.”

Nguyen reflects on her preparation for life after high school and overall experience with applying for scholarship programs. She encourages other BVH students to apply for scholarships and witness their growth as they learn more about themselves.

“Apply to scholarships because they really do listen to your story,” Nguyen said. “Scholarships test how much discipline you have and willingness to take risks. It seems daunting to [apply for] a scholarship, but it’s important if you want education in the future and to get opportunities opened [up].”