Bright Futures: MHS’s Pham named top student

Published 10:45 am Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kristi Pham is ready to tackle the next chapter in her life.

Pham, who was recently named the Memorial High School valedictorian, will be heading to Lamar University where she will major in chemical engineering.

The recent graduate overcame obstacles early in her academic career.

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“Back in elementary school I didn’t speak any English,” Pham said, adding her mother helped her with the language.

She continued working on her English, honing the basics, through the years and speaks flawless English. To better help with writing and grammar skills she enrolled in an English class at Lamar State College-Port Arthur while in high school and believes this extra work helped her when writing applications for college scholarships. She was awarded the Smith-Hutson Scholarship and received a “full ride” to college.

Pham had a love of math from an early age.

“I had a third grade teacher that began my love of math,” she said. “We would do 100 questions in under a minute. I’m very competitive and liked to be finished first. When I finished I’d slam my pencil down on the desk.”

She chose Lamar University because of its well-known engineering programs and feels an engineering career would bring her love of math and an interest in science together.

Pham also excelled in other courses through her academic career and earned the European History Film Awards at the school for a film about Louis XIV.

“I care about my academics and strive to be my best and do what I can to be better,” she said.

While at MHS Pham was president of the National Honor Society, president of the Vietnamese Culture Club, a member of Emoja, student council and chief editor for the school newspaper and yearbook club.

Pham considers her mother, Tracie Pham, her biggest inspiration. Her mother, she said, did not go to college and now Pham has the opportunity her mother did not have.

In addition, her brother Tommy Pham, received a full scholarship to Lamar Institute of Technology.

Mary Meaux: 409-721-2429

Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews