San Gabriel Mission High School is celebrating the academic success of one of their international alumnus, who received a full scholarship to Princeton’s Ph.D. program in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Thao Nguyen, who is from Vietnam, began as a sophomore at San Gabriel before graduating with honors in 2012. Nguyen initially struggled with English, but after dedicating her lunch and after-school hours to learning the language, she became bilingual, which she described as the key to her academic success.

Thao graduated from the University of Washington in June 2016 and thanked her former high school for being the initial spark that led to her academic achievements.

“San Gabriel Mission High School was the most memorable and important start to my educational career in the United States,” she said.