Andy Nguyen, a Goleta Teen of the Year finalist, is a proud and unrelenting volunteer at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He assists with the sterile processing department, laboratory, and patient transport, gaining over 450 hours of service. He has built relationships with nurses, doctors, and a pathologist who he had the opportunity to shadow.
Outside of his pursuit of the medical field, Andy is the ASB President of San Marcos High School as well as was the president of several clubs such as Latin Club, Math Club, and ESports Club. He also is a Link Leader, where he supports freshmen as they enter high school, and loves to swim and perform both regular poetry and slam poetry competitively. He is an avid Dungeons & Dragons player. Soon to be a San Marcos Health Academy graduate, Andy intends to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Immunology and a medical degree in Molecular Pathology in order to contribute to the growing field of genetics.
Q: With several months under your belt now as ASB President at each of your campuses: What is the hardest part of your job? What is the best part? What surprised you most about the role?
Leading and managing my rather evocative and very passionate team poses a challenge as I want everyone to engage but I also do not have enough time to manage. My favorite part of my job is also my hardest, I love working with my ASB crew! They are incredible, inspiring, and I would not have survived without them. They have helped me get prepared for my presidency and had my back through times of strife.
What surprised me is how fast my information gets out there. If someone has an opportunity, question, or concern―they have my information! I had parents message me out of the blue with questions, teachers and staff who found an opportunity to share with me, or students who need help, be it putting on a fundraiser or a question on math homework.
Q: If you had a magic wand, what is one thing you wish you could change at your campus?
Accessibility. This is an issue I am sure that all campuses face. Pertaining to my previous question, as much as I love to help others―a lot of that help could be made accessible online or through public messages. If I had a magic wand, I would like to make it so that everyone would be able to find the answer to their questions without having to contact another individual without confusion. At San Marcos, we tackle this problem through extensive announcements over the speakers and in-person, social media, website, ParentSquares and StudentSquares, and posters and flyers. Yet, we still get questions about certain events. Fixing this would save everyone’s time.
Q: What message would you want to share with others about how great your campus is, and why?
Aside from our awesome block schedule, academy and technical pathways, incredible teachers and staff, and school spirit, San Marcos has an extremely logical map layout. If you understand the organizational pattern and know your alphabet, you should know how to navigate San Marcos. If not, all of our rooms and wings are clearly labeled.
Q: Is there a teacher or staff member/administrator who has mentored you to help you in your role?
Our new school principal: Dr. Kip Glazer. The definition of a mentor is someone who is “an experienced and trusted adviser.” Dr. Glazer is the epitome of this definition. She has so much foresight and advice, so much knowledge and experience, and so much passion and care. Be it showing me the color wheel theorems as I developed digital banners for advertising, spending a majority of her Thanksgiving break giving me feedback on my college applications, or constructing massive email chains and responding back to my midnight emails to discuss school activities―Dr. Glazer has been there to help me along the way.
Q: What advice do you have for your fellow ASB Presidents? Are there tactics or approaches that have worked well for you in terms of inspiring school spirit and participation?
Care for your successors. A hallmark of a good leader is how successful the organization is after the leader leaves. Rather than thinking, how can we make this year’s prom amazing―think how can we make it possible for our future leaders to make their prom amazing as well? We often forget about those who inherit our successes and failures. Mentor your successors and lay down a foundation for your future administration.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
With college letters coming in soon, I would like to remind everyone that whenever you get in your dream college or not does not define who you are!