Mountain View High School students will see a new face in the College and Career Center this year – Mai Lien Nguyen, the new coordinator.
Nguyen, a first-generation college graduate, said her goal was to find employment at a school where she can assist a wide range students, from high achievers to those who are the first in their families to attend college.
Formerly a high school history teacher at The Harker School, Nguyen last year earned a College Admissions and Career Planning Certificate through UC Berkeley’s Extension Program.
“I spent last year learning about college counseling, talking to college counselors and being a sponge about college and career planning,” she said.
Nguyen said Harker’s college and career counselors inspired her, and she is excited about the more directed conversations she can have with students in Mountain View High’s College and Career Center as opposed to a history classroom.
Last year Nguyen worked with the director of college readiness at Summit Preparatory Charter High School as a volunteer college adviser.
Originally from Hawaii, Nguyen said she and her siblings were the first in their family to attend college.
“My siblings and I got scholarships and went to private colleges,” she said. “It was a life-changing event.”
Nguyen earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University.
“What drew me to education was that I had really great teachers,” she said. “I knew I wanted to give back in that same way people had helped me.”
In her new role, Nguyen will undertake a range of duties, including representing and advocating for Mountain View High School while communicating with colleges and universities. She will invite college representatives to visit and recruit students, as well as counsel students one-on-one as they narrow their lists of possible colleges, fill out applications, write essays and research scholarships.
Nguyen said she looks forward to joining the Mountain View High family.
“I want to find ways that I can become part of the school community,” she said. “I have a few ideas floating in my head.”