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Jennifer Pham graduates early

Photo+by+Camille+Salud.
Photo by Camille Salud.

Photo by Camille Salud.

Photo by Camille Salud.

Chloe Shin, Staff Writer

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Growing up in Da Nang, Vietnam, Jennifer Pham was already accustomed to hectic schools and demanding curriculum. Then in 2015, she moved to California to attend FUHS as a sophomore.

Pham plans to become either a math professor or an app designer involved in computer science. Influenced by her math teachers, Mrs. Butler, Mr. Zitny, and Mr. Hahn, Pham grew an immense interest into math, taking IB math and AP Calculus in the same year.

Graduating early was not initially Pham’s plan. The administration informed her that she had enough credits from her school back home and encouraged graduating. Although her original plan was to complete 4 years of high school, she settled late into her sophomore year to completely change her route. She expresses her bittersweet experience as she states, “Walking this year at graduation with the seniors…they’re all older than me and I know some of them but we don’t have that kind of bond.” Pham also said, “I feel like I’m missing out on my senior year, like the senior fun that I would have been able to have next year…”

In Vietnam, elementary, junior high, and high school are all connected, causing her to essentially “move up” with the same people in her classes. The graduations would thus be even more emotional. But since moving to America, she said her social circle definitely expanded.

Pham expressed her struggles, especially in English class, since America’s focus on poetry and stories differed from Vietnam’s central views of vocab and grammar.

“She’s more quiet in class but I know she’s smart and always has a positive attitude. I’ve never seen her frown. She never seems overwhelmed by anything. She knows how to manage her work, but still have a good time,” said junior Michael Laverde.

She personally advises against graduating early because she wants students to, “enjoy the fun.” She even considers attending prom next year because her bond with her junior friends still remains strong and she “doesn’t want to let go of it.”

“Looking back, last year, I was more of a shy person and wasn’t really involved in school activities,¨ Jennifer said. “As a person, I’ve seen myself growing each day and have become more outgoing, as well as socially confident. I’m really thankful for the experiences that FUHS has given to me!”

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