An-Khang Dinh Nguyen, a student at St. Helena-Incarnation (SHI) Catholic School, IMS recently received the St. Joseph Scholarship from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (The Prep) – their top scholarship entitling him to full tuition for four years. This Scholarship, funded by a gift from the late Jim Agger ’54 and his wife Pat, is awarded to the top academic student in the applicant pool. An-Khang scored a 99 on the test and had nearly perfect scores on his transcript, as well as outstanding recommendations from his teachers.
Vietnamese born, An-Khang, who came to America with his parents when he was just eight months old, is proof-positive that with hard work, perseverance and the right support system – anything is possible.
As a student of SHI since Pre-K, An-Khang received a warm welcome into the diverse, multi-cultural school community and quickly became a model student after learning perfect English. A quiet, humble hard-worker, An-Khang’s teachers recognized his exceptional academic ability and pushed him with more challenging work to help him grow. “The work we do here is transformative. After spending ten years in our building, there have been a lot of people supporting him along the way. We are very grateful to those who make it possible for us to continue this work,” said Nick Huck, SHI Principal.
In addition to the role his teachers and school played in his success, An-Khang went the extra mile to spend many of his precious Saturday’s over the last two years working toward his goals. He was one of only 10 students to qualify for and be accepted into the Inn Dwelling at The Prep program – an advanced academic program for bright-inner city boys. Inn Dwelling gives the boys exposure to a more rigorous curriculum that focuses on social and intellectual development through accelerated learning in math, reading and writing and exposure to The Prep and it’s teachers.
Charles Arroyave, Principal of St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, IMS and the Director of the Inn Dwelling at The Prep program says, “The program gives these boys the chance to develop their study skills, test taking techniques and strategies to give them the best opportunity to score well on high school entrance exams. They come out of the program capable, confident and prepared to make their transition to a college-prep school.” Prepared he was. In addition to receiving the top scholarship from The Prep, An-Khang also received prestigious scholarship opportunities to additional schools.
An-Khang is excited to attend The Prep this Fall and he will be in good company. Darius Frazier, of Holy Cross Catholic School, IMS and graduate of the Inn Dwelling at The Prep program will be joining him, thanks to the St. Ignatius of Loyola scholarship that he was awarded – an academic scholarship that gives him $14,000 per year in tuition. Of the three Inn Dwelling scholars to receive scholarships to The Prep, two were IMS students. “We are very proud of both An-Khang and Darius! Their success is a great testament to the talent that we have at IMS and to the transformative work that is happening every day across our network of schools,” said Bruce Robinson, President & CEO of IMS.
While the support and exposure An-Khang received from his family and teachers were key components to his success, in the end, it all came down to the hard work that he put in. Take it from An-Khang, who gives this advice to younger students: “Keep working hard no matter the struggles or adversities that come through. At the end it is always worth it.”