JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) — A Junction City High School student is on her way to graduating in June. Then, she will be making her way to an Ivy League university basically for free.
It’s a big achievement for Elyse Nguyen.
“I’m first-generation,” she said. “I mean just going to college itself is already a big deal for me. I wanted to be a role model for my younger siblings so when they get to this stage they have me to help them.”
Nguyen applied to numerous colleges and universities like the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to name a few. But the most important application, Yale University.
Since she was a kid it was always her goal to attend Yale. She worked hard in school to make it happen, even taking classes that weren’t offered at her high school like AP Calculus BC.
Senior year came and she began applying. One by one, she was getting offers and some declines, waiting on standby for one special letter: her acceptance to Yale.
“It’s so… it’s so surreal,” she said. “I think that’s like the best way to put it like when I saw that admissions decision I was just like blown away like I couldn’t believe it like I was rereading it like making sure this has my name on it says like, I got it and I wasn’t like hallucinating.”
She said she put a lot of effort into that application. Giving the admissions office an inside look into her life growing up and how her parents were an important part in making sure she had a great education.
“My mom, she didn’t know English,” she said. “She couldn’t really get a job. So we were just living off of what my dad could make, and how much my mom could save. It was a very like frugal lifestyle, but it really taught me the value of education.”
She wants her journey to Yale University to be an example to people who may have the same story as her: don’t let your background stop you from getting to where you want to be.
“No matter where you come from, how much money you have, what educational background you have, who is helping you, you definitely can reach your dreams,” she said. “It’s just a matter of working hard and knowing what you want.”
In fall of 2021, Elyse Nguyen will head to New Haven, Conn., officially becoming a bulldog.
The Office of Institutional Research reports Yale University had one first-year student from Kansas enrolled in the 2020 school year. In 2019 there were only eight.