As the HISD Class of 2023 approaches graduation, college acceptance letters are rolling in. In early April, Chavez High School senior Tuong Phung learned she’d be going to her dream school—Stanford University.
The heartwarming moment was captured on video.
“When I saw the confetti from the Stanford decision letter, I was shocked and amazed that I got accepted to a school that seems out of reach to me,” said Phung. “I felt grateful because I would have the opportunity to attain higher education that my mother didn’t have.”
With big goals of attending a top university, Phung followed in her big sister’s footsteps and joined EMERGE, a program that empowers and prepares high-performing students to attend the nation’s most prestigious colleges.
“Through EMERGE mentorship, I was able to match with a mentor, Jessica Bressler, who helped me with answering questions I had about colleges and careers,” said Phung. “She offered me valuable advice and insight, not just about careers, but also about family and life lessons.”
In June, Phung will graduate as salutatorian alongside her Chavez High School classmates. Then, it’s off to Stanford where she’ll study chemistry in hopes of becoming a cosmetics chemist to “create efficient, biodegradable products that can enhance the physical appearance of the consumers,” said Phung.
EMERGE students have been accepted to more than 250 colleges and universities throughout the nation, many with full scholarships. Nearly 95 percent of EMERGE’s 500+ seniors have been accepted to at least one college or university so far, with more acceptances coming in every day.
For HISD sophomores interested in becoming an EMERGE fellow, applications for next school year are open until May 15, 2023.