We are excited to announce the Notre Dame junior Claire Nguyen has been named the Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County’s Catholic Impact Scholar. As such, she has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship towards tuition for her senior year at Notre Dame High School.
Claire is a gifted, faith-filled young woman who embodies the best of Catholic education in our beloved Valley of Heart’s Delight. A Notre Dame education forms young women of impact who are life-long learners, spiritual seekers, justice advocates and community leaders. Claire purposely engages these graduation outcomes for her own growth as she discovers her own power, faith, and potential. In her academic studies, she is a deliberate and thoughtful student who embraces each learning opportunity. Last spring, as the shelter-in-place orders became the norm, Claire authored a poem in her theology class that articulated her own determined faith in this difficult time. She wrote, “We must hold onto each other’s hands and help each other get out of the darkness. We’ll find our way out together, reminding ourselves that every person is precious, every person has dignity, and every person deserves to live.” Reflecting further on scripture and Catholic social teachings, she recognizes her own part to play.
In her spiritual life and service learning, Claire is a witness to faith through her parish, cultural, and non-profit ministry/service with communities that hold for her significant personal meaning. This spring and summer, Claire and her siblings responded to the pandemic with the creation of thousands of face masks. In May, Claire was recognized by State Assemblyman Kansen Chu last for her work to protect essential health workers and nursing home residents. More recently she participated with Quarantutors to support children with remote tutoring. These recent service experiences are emblematic of an ongoing service mindset. To date, Claire has recorded over 465 hours of service in her high school years, leading her peers in that accomplishment. Further, Claire’s regular engagement in parish life at St. John the Baptist, St. Clare Parish, Our Lady of Lavang, and Our Lady of Refuge serves several liturgical, catechetical, and cultural ministries. Of these, music holds a special place for her. Claire is not only a violinist, but now adds liturgical composer to her accomplishments. One of her pieces, “To Grow in Faith,” was included for our recent Notre Dame Freshman Family Liturgy. And, in her leadership, Claire strives to create community with her peers at Notre Dame, be that as a music ministry leader, an officer in the Vietnamese Student Association, and as member of TASC Service, our selected service leadership group.
In all of this, Claire brings her kindness, compassion, sincerity, and love to all she does. We are so proud of Claire and look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes as she finishes her high school career and continues to make an impact on her community.