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Morrow High's Phan thrives under pressure

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Thanh Thuy Thi Phan, or "Thuy" (pronounced Twee) for short, is just as good with words as she is with people.

Phan, Morrow High School's Star Student for 2010, has learned how to balance hard work and perseverance with compassion and a true interest in the lives of other people.

Maintaining a 4.2 grade-point average, Phan, a former Scholar's Bowl representative, ranks in the top 5 percent of her classmates.

Outside of her class work -- which includes five Advanced Placement courses this year alone -- Phan is actively engaged in many aspects of Morrow High School. She currently serves as president of the National Honor Society and president of the Eco (environmental) Club, and maintains membership in the school's Latin Club, French Club, Technology Student Association, Student Council, Beta Club, Math Club, Upward Bound program, Elite Scholars Club, Health Occupation Students of America program, and Future Business Leaders of America program.

Phan is the daughter of a maintenance worker and a homemaker, and the oldest of four children. Her family immigrated to America from Thu Duc, Vietnam (a suburb of Ho Chi Minh City), when she was 6 years old.

"We were always taught that you have to achieve because you are an immigrant," Phan said. "My mom only had a third-grade education and she wanted me to do better ... she inspires me to be better."

Phan has already been accepted to Emory University, where she plans to major in English, journalism, and/or foreign languages. As someone who works well under pressure and enjoys telling the stories of other people, she hopes to one day be a photojournalist.

"I like taking pictures," she said. "There's this moment, and you can just capture it and always go back and rediscover the moment. I mostly like it because of the opportunity to travel. I want to be able to do that and tell people about the stories there."