RHS Valedictorian, Kathy Trinh, Earns Full Scholarship to M.I.T.

By Melissa Moore-Randall

Revere High School Senior and Valedictorian, Kathy Trinh was one of 750 recipients nationwide to win the prestigious Gates Scholarship. The scholarship, which had an applicant pool of 51,000, provides Kathy with funding for the full cost of attendance including tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation, and may include other personal costs.

RHS Valedictorian,
Kathy Trinh.

According to their website, the ideal candidate must possess the following to be considered for a scholarship:

• An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 10% of his/her graduating class)

• Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)

• Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)

In addition to being the Valedictorian for the Class of 2023, Kathy is also the President of the RHS Math Team and captain of the RHS Swim Team and the RHS Tennis Teams, and a member of FEM (Feminist Empowerment Movement),

Trihn is of three children of parents who immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. “My mother and father immigrated to the US when they were young, but never got the chance to pursue a college education (adapting to life in America as refugees from the Vietnam War is harder than one might think), so they did everything they could to provide my brothers and me with opportunities to get a good education in hopes of getting a good job in the future, thus securing a stable life for ourselves.”

“I was always “the smartest in the family,” as my mother would constantly tell me and my brothers, demonstrated by my academic performance and place in the pre-AP track (until tracking was no more, at which point I had already been able to take AP classes.) I’ve taken 8 AP classes (AP Stats, AP Calc AB, AP Calc BC, AP Language and Composition, AP Government, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science A) over the course of my high school career and succeeded in all of them.”

“The Gates Scholarship is a full-need, last-dollar scholarship to any four-year university/college in the US, which seniors can apply for if they are Pell-eligible. I learned of it in October a few weeks before it was due because one of my friends was also applying for it, and there were 3 different stages to the application (full pool, semi-finalist, finalist). The application process started in October with a general application asking for extracurriculars and academics, then continued to December with the second part of the application, which required me to write four essays about my aspirations and experiences, and ended in March with a formal interview. I only got the news that I had been selected as a Gates Scholar (which includes access to a network of other Gates Scholars and alumni, job preparation and assistance, college preparation in both an academic and social environment, and orientation at Disney World) on April 20th.”

Aside from MIT, Kathy was also accepted to UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Tufts University University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University.

“My proudest accomplishment over the past four years is not my academic achievements, but rather my self-growth, which gave me the ability to truly connect with others and make them happy. Being a traditionally good student came at the expense of my mental health, which manifested itself in my interactions with others (or lack thereof, since I often isolated myself,) and over COVID-19 quarantine, I realized that progressing through life like this was absolutely miserable. Over the course of the past two years, I have derived a sense of self that I am proud of and pursued my own interests.I gained the courage to push past the boundaries of the limitations that my parents placed upon me in order to chase what made me feel fulfilled – a feat that I never thought I’d get to. I may be a good student, but I also want to be a good person, and I think I’m finally getting there.”

At MIT, Kathy would like to study Course 6-9 at MIT, which is Computation and Cognition (computer science + neuroscience.) “I’m unsure of my intended career, but I want to research Alzheimer’s whilst in college. I’m thinking of getting an MD/PhD so that I can conduct research whilst being able to apply that knowledge to help people in a clinical setting.”

Revere Superintendent Dianne Kelly is extremely proud of Kathy and her selection as a Gates scholar. “I’m so happy for Kathy! She is an amazing person and a wonderful student. Her family has been very supportive of her.  I just know she will do great things and I hope she’ll bring her talents home to Revere when she finishes her studies.”

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