Top Memorial High School students aiming for NASA

Published 10:06 am Friday, May 26, 2017

The top two Titans — Kim Huynh and David Tran have spent years perfecting their academic success and are now reaping the rewards.

Huynh, the valedictorian, and Tran, salutatorian, of Memorial High School class of 2017, are set to graduate Friday. There are a total of 455 seniors graduating.

Both said it was important to them to achieve academic success, which helps with the cost of college.

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“My parents can’t afford to pay for all of my college so this was a help by getting good grades,” Huynh said.

Tran agreed.

“I did it for my mom and two little brothers. I’m a mentor to my brothers and this helps pay for college.”

The top students also agreed that their dedication to studying was a big commitment.

“My parents said ‘as long as you do your best’ but I didn’t expect to get this far,” she said.

Tran said that in the end he knows he made the achievement not only for himself but for his family as well.

Self-determination and family are what helped Huynh and Tran continue their work towards academic excellence.

For Huynh, she had her parents gently urge her on at times saying it was in her best interest and she had sisters who read over her work.

Tran said sometimes he felt he wanted to go out when he should be studying for a test but thought it over and realized what was more important.

“You have to make those sacrifices,” he said.

Huynh and Tran offered some advise for incoming freshmen — take time to study even if it’s in short periods of time and relax.

“Do things you have to do but also have fun,” he said. “Go by a list of what needs to be done but also get involved. You’re only a teen once.”

The valedictorian advises to set a goal such as studying for a certain amount of time but also get involved in extracurricular activities.

“Your grades are not the most important thing in life,” she said. “It’s OK if you make a ‘C’ sometimes as long as you build it up from there.”

Huynh plans to attend Texas A&M University where she will major in chemistry while Tran is set to attend Lamar University and major in mechanical engineering.

Both have their sights set on working at NASA in the future. Huynh will go the path of obtaining her degree and maybe working in a refinery to get some experience under her belt before aiming towards NASA. Tran also wants to get his feet wet in the field then go towards his ultimate goal.

Both Huynh and Tran have found ways to relax when not studying. For Tran, it’s playing the piano and volleyball while Huynh plays varsity tennis and enjoys baking.

Their favorite movies? Huynh likes “Mulan” and “Ratatouille,” while Tran’s favorites are the “Rush Hour” series and “Now You See Me.”

Kim Huynh is the daughter of Lan Tran and Pat Huynh.

David Tran is the son of Huyen Tran.