Quan Nguyen, ‘23

Quan dreamed of attending a private boarding school from a very young age. But being part of a family that struggled financially, this was never in the cards.

Quan bounced around between “lots of places” and spent his early elementary years in Houston’s Spring Branch/West Branch, an area with a dense Asian and Hispanic community and fluctuating socioeconomic backgrounds/pockets of poverty.

He moved to a more affluent part of Houston for late elementary and middle school, yet he remembered and continued to see the city’s glaring economic disparity. At the start of high school, he witnessed gentrification and more economic inequality and disparity. 

Still, his pursuit of attending a private school and college-prep boarding school remained. His quest led him to Chinquapin, a school with a hard-to-pronounce name that checked all the boxes: the option to live on campus, and a challenging curriculum coupled with an environment where students’ differences don’t impede their ability to fit in and be successful, happy community members. Perhaps his dream would become a reality after all.

Since arriving as a sophomore, Quan has immersed himself in every aspect of school life. Our small student population means Quan can participate in and lead varied activities. He likens himself to the tooth fairy, who gives the community a sense of hope and joy. As SLC [Student Leadership Committee] president, his aim is for SLC officers to model their devotion to Chinquapin so that fellow students feel and show this devotion to their school, too.

Quan is a teacher’s dream student: He’s always thinking, always willing to help, always putting himself out there, and going the extra mile. Not only that, he’s whip-smart and laser-focused on his goals. His determination, big brain, and mature-beyond-his-years nature have landed him a full four-year ride to Pomona College as a QuestBridge Scholar! Quan plans to study sociology. 

He will take the lessons he learned from his devoted Chinquapin teachers – how communities function, what people need, how to motivate people to go out into the world to do good and continue to learn and lead – with him as he matriculates to Pomona.


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