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Kellie’s parents left Vietnam as refugees, settling in Colorado to work as house cleaners and have worked hard to provide a better life for Kellie and her older brother. While she did not speak English consistently until she entered school for the first time, Kellie’s mother often repeated “work hard and show everyone you deserve everything you have.”

Kellie worked diligently to earn a 4.0 in the rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
As a young Vietnamese-American leader, she tutored and mentored younger students at her local middle school and acted as a translator and guide for recent Vietnamese immigrants. Additionally, she was a 3 year member of National Honor Society, becoming president her senior year.