Albin Quan, a senior at Summit Tahoma in San Jose is elated about his acceptances to Stanford, Harvard, and Yale. As a first generation Vietnamese American, Albin started school as an English Language Learner, but set his sights early on college. He wanted to be the first in his family to go to college, reflecting “I chose Summit Tahoma because of its emphasis on college readiness and I haven’t been disappointed.”
After a tough decision, this fall, Albin will set off to Yale University to major in Political Science. In the meantime, he’s going to make the most of spending time at home with family and friends. “I’m really excited to start college and continue to pursue my passions. I know my parents are really going to miss me, so I want to spend as much time with them as possible this summer.”
“My academic success comes from both a strong work ethic and time management skills, as well as my curiosity about many of the subjects and material taught in classes”
Right before his recent visit to Yale, Albin sat down with us to discuss his experience at Tahoma and his future.
What’s the key to your success?
My academic success comes from both a strong work ethic and time management skills, as well as my curiosity about many of the subjects and material taught in classes or provided on the playlists. Being able to work in a personalized way means that I’ve had to prioritize my workload. And for me, that means I can complete work more quickly, freeing up time to take part in more clubs, do more volunteering, and follow my passions.
How have you changed during high school?
I entered as a very shy person, but now I am more confident about speaking what is on my mind and interacting with other people and students in the community. I attribute this to the small community where I really feel that I got to meet everyone and felt comfortable being myself.
What’s been the best part of high school at Summit?
The best thing about Summit Tahoma is the mentoring and support that I have received over the years, especially from Ms. Toyama who is my current mentor, and who has supported my intellectual and personal growth over my high school career. Mentoring has been crucial to my development. I don’t think I’d have been as organized or as on top of everything without having Ms. Toyama there to help guide me every step of the way. Having an adult who I am comfortable speaking to about career advice, personal problems, etc. has been the best part of school.
What makes Summit Tahoma so unique?
I’ve definitely seen a lot of diversity - racial diversity and income diversity. Having students from lots of different backgrounds really enriches the perspective of the things we discuss in class, such as government, analyzing books - everyone has different opinions.
What are you most looking forward to about your future?
I was born in San Jose. I am looking forward to hopefully coming back to California after college, and serving my community through administrative or legislative work in the government.