Skip To Main Content

COVID 19 updates. Click here

Seattle Preparatory School

Search Trigger

CTA Sticky Nav

Landing Nav

  • Panther News
Alum Tina Nguyen '18 On The Rise
Auden Salazar

Left: Tina Nguyen '18 and Prep Art Teacher, Melissa Dold, at Tina's art premiere, Serendipity

Tina Nguyen ’18 has emerged as an unstoppable force, surpassing expectations and redefining success on her own terms. Drawing upon the valuable lessons she learned during her time at Prep, Tina is a proven trailblazer who embodies the essence of limitless potential and virtus in arduis. 

Her indomitable spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence led to her induction into the prestigious Husky 100, an esteemed accolade bestowed upon 100 exceptional students at the University of Washington who epitomize leadership, dedication and unwavering determination. 


Born in Vietnam, Tina and her family immigrated to the United States when she was five. Growing up, she moved frequently, never quite feeling a sense of belonging until she discovered the Chinatown-International District, where she finally felt at home. Coming from humble beginnings, Tina’s parents worked tirelessly to provide her with a quality education. She attended St. George Parish School, which laid the foundation for her academic journey. However, as a person of color in predominantly white institutions, she encountered challenges along the way. Nevertheless, Tina overcame these obstacles, forging her own path and embracing her unique background. 

Experience at Prep

During her time at Prep, Tina was inspired by the vibrant sense of community that permeates the school halls. She found her classmates to be well-rounded individuals who defied easy categorization. The “go-getter” mentality prevalent among Prep students sparked a fire within her and strengthened her own resolve. The transformative experience at Prep honed Tina’s critical thinking skills, empowering her to approach challenges with an analytical mindset and a determination to make a difference. 

Personal Achievements

At UW, Tina was named a Gilman Scholar, affording her the opportunity to study abroad in the Netherlands. In addition to this enlightening global experience, she pursued a double major, earning both a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Informatics. Her outstanding achievements did not go unnoticed, as she was inducted into the esteemed Husky 100, an honor that she viewed as a chance to leave an indelible mark on the community at the University of Washington. 

Tina’s efforts led her to a full-circle moment in which she was invited to the prestigious Dean’s Club dinner at the Seattle Yacht Club, where she once worked. This event served as a testament to her journey, symbolizing the transformative impact of her education at Prep and her growth as an individual. 

Educational Path

Tina has always pushed herself to explore new avenues. Initially pursuing photography and pre-med, she discovered her fascination for coding after taking a class in the subject. This newfound interest led her to explore the field of Informatics, prompting a change in her academic plans. 

Tina also served as a teaching assistant for Informatics and was a student in the honors college, further expanding her intellectual pursuits. However, her multifaceted talents extended beyond the realm of academia. Tina’s passion for her culture and community shone through in her art exhibition, Serendipity, which delved into the rich tapestry of the Chinatown-International District and Little Saigon. Initially conceived as part of her AP Studio Art Portfolio, the project evolved into an exploration of her heritage and the vibrant communities that shaped her upbringing. 

Serendipity found a home through Seattle Restored, an initiative that highlights local artists in storefronts across the city. In a remarkable twist of fate, Tina’s art was selected for a storefront in Little Saigon, directly across the street from her parents’ former beauty supply shop, where she spent her childhood. This fortuitous coincidence added extra meaning to the project, tying together her past and present in a powerful example of the transformative nature of art. 

Next Steps

As Tina looks to the future, she finds herself at a crossroads with several job offers in New York City. However, after years of tireless work, she recognizes the importance of taking time off to travel and recharge. With her insatiable drive and passion for making a positive impact, it’s only a matter of time before she finds a new and inspiring endeavor to pursue. As she prepares to step into the next chapter of her life, there’s no doubt that Tina will continue to leave an indelible mark, forging her own path and inspiring those around her with her unwavering spirit and passion for evolution. 

  • Arts
  • alumni

Left: A traditional artist in the Chinatown-International District makes paint, taken from Serendipity. Right: Tina Nguyen hanging her art in a Little Saigon store front for Seattle Restored. 

Read more Panther Tracks

Back On!
Lisa Fernandez, Director of Communications & Marketing