Forward Together: Accompaniment. The idea of being present through another’s journey—sharing fates. It happens to students who come to SCU.
It’s a practice valedictorian Athena Nguyen ’18 strives toward.
In her graduation speech, Nguyen said “Cam on ban,” thanking her parents for supporting her journey in their native Vietnamese. It was at Santa Clara, she said, that her feelings about her multicultural identity shifted.
“For a long time, I was ashamed of my identity; however, when I came to SCU I discovered its strength and significance through accompaniment,” Nguyen said. As a student, Nguyen journeyed with others around the globe. In Peru, as a Jean Donovan fellow, she witnessed a mother decide to give up her child. As a Global Social Benefit fellow in Myanmar, she followed the paths of maternal and child health. After graduation, her journey continues. A Fulbright scholar, Nguyen is working as an English teaching assistant in Vietnam.
And, of course, she won’t be alone—seven other Santa Clara scholars are also journeying around the world on Fulbrights. “I’ve seen the thread of humanity that weaves us together in our common identities,” Nguyen told the 2018 graduating class.