One student’s perspective

| December 6, 2009 | 0 Comments

Mai Te Xiong, 17, is a junior at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Her parents Dang Xiong (father) and Khoua Yang (mother) are from Laos; she is the oldest of five siblings: Seng Ye, Kao Zoua, Sia and Pengshing.

At DeLaSalle, she is involved in science club, environmental club, admissions ambassador program, campus ministry, cheerleading, softball and track.

Though the family is not Catholic, sending the children to Catholic school is a priority. Mai Te and her siblings all currently attend Catholic schools. She went to Risen Christ School in Minneapolis from first through eighth grade, as all of her siblings either have done or are doing.

student_perspectiveMai Te is a success story for both her school and Catholic education in general. Partly due to her 3.88 GPA, she has been inducted into her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. DeLaSalle has more than 100 students who are members.

Though her family cannot afford to send her and her four siblings to Catholic school without assistance, she has received enough aid to attend every year. One significant source of funding has been the Banyan Foundation, which provides aid to students living in the Phillips Neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Mai Te is one of 15 students at her school to receive grant money from the Banyan Foundation.

Mai Te came to DeLaSalle as the top student in her eighth-grade class at Risen Christ. According to DeLaSalle’s Mike O’Keefe, she has continued to excel in high school.

“She has been an outstanding student her whole life, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “We find her to be very genuine and sincere to her approach to school and in her relationships with peers and adults.”

One telling example of her positive attitude is the work she has done in the school’s campus ministry program, specifically, the Starry Night Prom for disabled youth that the school hosts every year.

Mai Te joins many other of her fellow students to create a memorable night for teens who wouldn’t otherwise have a prom to attend. This is part of the Catholic education that she calls “really valuable.”

“Getting a Catholic education is great,” she said. “Education is not all about academics. It’s about being with people and interacting.”

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