Jack Nguyen is in his first year at Ben Lippen. The 11th-grader from Vietnam recently sat down with his houseparents to share a little about himself.
Tell us a little about yourself. I have four names – Nguyen Dang Hoang Nam – which includes my mother’s last name. This is my first time living in the U.S.
Tell us about your family. I live in Ho Chi Minh City, which is the largest city in the south of the country. There are four people in my family: Mom and Dad work for the tax department in Vietnam and my sister just finished her business degree at San Jose State University. (Jack attended his sister’s wedding during Christmas break.)
Why did you decide to come to Ben Lippen? I came to Ben Lippen School because it has a good education program, the school needed more international students, and the price was right. (Jack’s family friend Alex knew of Ben Lippen School and brought him here in August.)
What do you like about Ben Lippen? The teachers (especially Mr. Morris and Dr. Ingrum), specifically the house parents, and the good friends I have made here in such a short time… I like the opportunity to learn different subjects, including choir from Mr. Nelson and U.S. History which helps me to understand a perspective as U.S. history relates to the rest of the world. I like the Winterim program as it gives good life lessons.
What has been the best thing that has happened to you at Ben Lippen? Living in House 3B with my housemates and getting to know our houseparents’ extended family has been fun. We have a clean house and that makes me feel at home. We have house meals and those can be fun. The discipline level helps to hold everyone accountable.
Which class do you like the most and why? I don’t have a favorite class but I do well in all of my classes. The difficult part is doing everything in a second language. Though I have been learning English since kindergarten, it is still a challenge to think in English when Vietnamese is my primary language. Bible is my most frustrating class because of the note-taking. In Vietnam, we do not even learn about Buddha. The Trinity can be very confusing.
What is your passion? I am passionate about cars and things that move. I want to study engineering to know how cars work and how I can make them more efficient and practical. I also have a passion for shoes and have 15 pairs here in the dormitory.
Where do you hope to go to university and what major do you want to pursue? I hope to go to San Jose State or UCLA. They both have the program I want and they are very reputable. I had the opportunity to visit San Jose State in a class with my sister and the professor encouraged me to take the test that day. I took it and did well. That helped me to be more confident.
What is an experience you had in your boarding house that you will remember forever? On my first day at Ben Lippen School, I left the house with new friends and Mrs. Connie could not find us. That day we learned very quickly a couple of the rules of the house. She cares about me and wants to know where I am!