We are excited to welcome Summit Sierra’s new college and career readiness teacher, Cam Tu Nguyen. Cam Tu was born in Vietnam, raised in Tacoma, and is the first in her family to earn a college degree. With the guidance of supportive mentors, she was awarded the Act Six full ride scholarship to Whitworth University in Spokane. After receiving her Bachelor’s of Arts in Cross-Cultural Studies, Cam Tu wanted to give back to her community by serving two years in AmeriCorps as a high school tutor and mentor for students with the most barriers to college. She went on to receive her Masters of Education at the University of Washington in Tacoma and then began her work in college access.
She has a long track record of success supporting students on their college journey at the College Success Foundation, TRIO, and Rainier Scholars. She is passionate about preparing students for college and their career and is excited to begin her journey at Summit Sierra High School. Outside of work, Cam Tu loves to dance and is a salsa instructor at Salsa N’ Seattle.
What drew you to teaching at Summit?
Summit’s model has key components to what I believe are essential to student success. This includes a small learning community with capacity for teachers to be mentors and focus on relationship building with students. Summit also prioritizes college and career readiness, thus providing students with the skills to help them excel post-graduation.
What do you think about the Seattle community?
When I was young, my family and I would drive up from Tacoma to visit our favorite restaurants in the International District almost every weekend. I grew to love the Seattle community and has made it my home over the last four years. The city is so diverse and laid back that I believe anyone can find a community to belong.
What do you love most about helping students?
The relationship building aspect is very important to me. I love to learn about their stories and watch them develop their identity and goals over time. That’s why I think I gravitate towards working with upperclassmen in high school or college because I can help them transition after they’ve hit their milestones.