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FOR THE 18-AND-UNDER CROWD: SANTA ANA

Mater Dei Senior Wins Alger Award

October 16, 1998|CHRISTINE CASTRO and JASON KANDEL

Mater Dei High School senior Van H. Nguyen received the $5,000 Horatio Alger Award recently for her accomplishments despite hardships.

Nguyen was one of 130 high school students nationally to receive the award, which reflects the 19th-century American writer Horatio Alger's philosophy of achieving excellence through adversity. Each applicant for the scholarship had to write a one-page biography.

Nguyen emigrated from Vietnam with her family at age 3. She divides her time among working at a local pharmacy, volunteering at Holy Spirit Church, supporting her grandmother--who is battling cancer--and participating in various school honor societies.

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