AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – One local family is celebrating a major academic accomplishment.
Pauline Tu and her husband are first generation immigrants from Vietnam. In May their daughter, Shania graduated from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, as the school’s Valedictorian.
If this wasn’t an accomplishment in itself, Shania’s siblings, Ethan and Tristian, both graduated and were declared valedictorian the years they graduated as well. Tristian graduated with the Class of 2016, and Ethan, the Class of 2020. This makes them a family of valedictorians.
“It was pretty cool, it was a thing that we didn’t really think about too much, but it happened, and it’s pretty cool to have all of us be the valedictorians,” said Shania Nguyen-Tu.
The siblings accomplishment was acknowledged in the schools yearbook.
With Shania being the last of the siblings to graduate, we asked her if there was any pressure to become valedictorian like her brothers before her.
“It kind of felt like ‘this is your destiny now’,” she joked. “It wasn’t that much pressure, it was kind of like, there’s two down, one to go,” said Shania.
For the three siblings, accomplishing the incredible academic feat not only came from hard work, but also the support from their family.
“Our parents really helped push us to make sure that we challenge ourselves, not just turn in all the assignments, but challenge ourselves to take classes that not only interest us but are a little harder and more challenging, and I fell like that really helped us to want to be pushed more and take more classes ourselves and prove ourselves,” explained Shania.
Not only did their parents teach them to always push themselves they also taught them to give back. Each sibling has done volunteer work at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, and currently Shania volunteers for Safe Homes of Augusta, and Watson Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees.
“I for one, really like to volunteer. I feel like that really helped me broaden my interests but also helped me feel like I’m giving back to my community,” said Shania.
Giving back is important to Shania’s entire family because of the amount of support her parents received when they were settling in to the United States.
“When they came to America my parents would tell me how volunteers would help them out a lot and I feel like that inspired me to want to help out my community just as much as much as they did,” said Shania.
Shania and her brothers are thankful for everything their parents have done for them.
“I’d like to say thank you and I really love them, and I hope that they’re proud as much as we’re proud of being their kids,” said Shania.