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Cynthia Nguyen: "Fulfilling Our Parents' Dreams"

From the time she was a small child, drawing was her passion. As an only child of parents working two jobs, striving to get ahead, she had plenty of time to build her skills. Cynthia Nguyen, now a junior at Cristo Rey Boston, is looking to put all the elements in place as she looks ahead.

"My parents are incredibly hard-working; they own a busy restaurant in Dorchester, and when I was young, they encouraged my drawing to keep me occupied." she laughed. They also have a business refurbishing houses, so she has seen first-hand the role architecture and design play in construction. 

Cynthia recalled, "I have always loved looking at buildings and drawing them; I feel pretty confident that a degree in architecture is in my future." 

She credits her mom with her choice to attend Cristo Rey Boston. "My mom did a lot of research on high schools, and we both felt that having experience in a real-world job setting would be invaluable. I welcome learning from my mistakes while I am young." Cynthia noted that she had found a great cohort of kids at Cristo Rey who are focused on their futures and incredibly supportive teachers. 

Most importantly, she is gaining valuable experience in her intended field. Currently working at Utile, a company focused on architecture and urban design, Cynthia has had an opportunity to match her passion with experience since her sophomore year. She noted, "I have been able to assist with projects from across the United States and even have been given a chance to create a sketch up. Working at Utile has given me an insider's view of my intended field, which is exciting." 

Tayler Morris, her supervisor at Utile and a Cristo Rey St. Martin graduate, commented, "Cynthia has shown great initiative this year. I know she will make a great designer one day." It's the investments of people like Tayler that make a difference, according to Cynthia.  Her guidance counselor and art teacher recently prompted her to enter a logo design contest created by the law firm Morrison Mahoney to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Cynthia noted, "Having Ms. Forte and Ms. Edwards push me to enter the competition, or the support of someone like Ms. Morris affirms that I am on the right track in pursuing my interests. When I won the contest, I was so proud of myself."

Looking ahead, Cynthia has her eye on attending an Ivy League college. She explained, "I am open to new adventures, exploring the environment around me in college, and learning more about the world and myself."

She continued, "I am part of a large extended family in Boston and have many cousins. We are fulfilling the dreams our parents had for us when they emigrated. We are all headed to college and will represent the future of our families in the United States. My parents have worked extremely hard for my future, and I look forward to the day I can demonstrate to them that they can stop worrying about me."