This fall, Singley Academy senior Katy Nguyen will head off to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) where she will study software engineering. But before she starts at UTD, she has two graduations to attend – her high school graduation on June 1, and her graduation from Dallas College on May 11.

As part of the Early College High School pathway at Singley Academy, Nguyen is a member of the first graduating class from Singley Academy to also receive an associate’s degree.

“I pursued an Associate of Science degree, and it is going to help eliminate a lot of the core classes I’ll have to take for my bachelor’s degree,” says Nguyen. “This way, I can focus on double majoring, dedicating more time to my projects during my senior year of college or obtaining an internship.”

Nguyen has always had a passion for taking initiative. What first piqued her interest in pursuing a career in software engineering was based on her experience with using a particular job search website. While browsing the site with her father, she found the user interface difficult to navigate. She felt that this website, and others similar to it, could be cumbersome and ultimately block opportunities for so many underrepresented communities.

“I just want to be able to provide access to everyone,” says Nguyen. “Not only that, but with a career in software engineering, it opens access for me to pursue other industries, including the medical field, to potentially be a data scientist.”

Her openness and eagerness to be involved served her well throughout her time at Singley. Nguyen was a part of multiple student organizations including Collegiate Leadership Club (President), Asian Culture Committee (Vice President), Interact (Vice President), National Honor Society (Secretary), HOSA – Future Health Professionals, Destination Imagination and Student Council.

“I chose to go to Singley because of the numerous career and industry offerings but being able to obtain my associate’s degree before graduating high school was a big factor as well,” says Nguyen. “After speaking with friends, I learned that Singley had a variety of student clubs and organizations, along with a more academically inclined focus, and I determined it was the right fit for me.”