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El Monte High School Senior Receives Scholarship to Attend Cornell University


El Monte High School senior Chau Trinh dreams of supporting the El Monte community through construction of safe and affordable housing, aided by an $80,000 scholarship to attend Cornell University.

El Monte High School senior Chau Trinh will pursue her dream of supporting the El Monte community through the construction of safe and affordable housing, aided by an $80,000 scholarship to attend Cornell University.
Trinh, an accomplished student with a 4.1 GPA, will be pursuing a degree in architecture. Trinh has observed families who struggle with housing and wants to help provide comfortable living accommodations for all people.
“Housing is a human right. I’ve always cared about making sure everyone has a safe environment to live in, because that’s the most basic necessity,” Trinh said. “I really want to help people in our city and, with the right resources, we can help them to get ahead.”
Trinh spent every day of the first semester in the 2021-22 school year in the college and career center at El Monte High, working with her counselor to prepare her application. Among her many accomplishments, Cornell was impressed by Trinh’s acts of community service, including creation of a panel of politicians, professors and journalists who visit El Monte High and encourage students to become more civically active.
Trinh also completed an internship for the El Monte Promise Foundation, an organization that promotes college readiness in the El Monte community. Meanwhile, she managed to earn straight As, pass all of her Advanced Placement tests, act as varsity tennis captain as well as debate club president, and win state and regional awards in the Academic Decathlon.
“I like the busy lifestyle and I love to learn new things. I’m always up on my feet and I’m a pretty fast worker,” Trinh said. “I’ve obtained a lot of skills because of pushing myself to grow. Knowledge doesn’t hurt anyone!”
Trinh’s passions extend to the arts of sculpture, oil and acrylic painting, clay, knitting, embroidery and crochet. She hopes to incorporate her love of art into her future architectural career by designing spaces such as opera houses, galleries and museums.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, Trinh plans to pursue a master’s degree in business from the University of Southern California, so that she can one day own and manage her own architectural firm.
“Chau Trinh is an outstanding example of what a student can achieve with the help of a rigorous education and a passion for learning,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “We are incredibly proud of Chau’s drive and of the constant service she provides to the El Monte Union community. We look forward to seeing the amazing buildings she will construct in our city and beyond.” 


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