Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt had a surprise waiting for Flagler-Palm Coast High School senior Christina Nguyen.

Christina was called to Principal Bobby Bossardet’s office, which is something no student wants to hear. But when she stepped inside, she was greeted by Bossardet, Mittelstadt, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services LaShakia Moore, and Assistant Principal Stacia Collier.

Superintendent Mittelstadt awarded Christina the district’s first-ever Florida Pre-Paid Superintendent Scholarship. Thanks to a partnership between Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans and Flagler Schools, Christina receives a 2-year Florida College Plan Scholarship valued at approximately $8,000.

“I can’t breathe!” she said after she was presented with the giant check. Christina has been accepted into the University of Central Florida. She has plans to continue her education in hopes of becoming a medical doctor. In her application, Christina writes, “Acquiring these degrees will show the world that everyone has what it takes if they want it enough. Not only will I be helping underprivileged individuals who are seeking medical attention, but I will also advocate for students wishing to pursue an education.”

Viki White is one of Christina’s teachers. In recommending Christina for this scholarship, she writes, “(Christina) is a delightful student who I have had the opportunity to instruct over her entire high school career. During this time, I have had the pleasure of watching her grow and mature as a student and as a leader among her peers. From the start, it was clear that her classmates liked Christina, and since then, she has developed into a leader.”

Superintendent Mittelstadt says, “Christina’s story is a powerful one. She’s a child of Vietnamese parents and has been able to embrace that culture as well as her American culture successfully. What made her application stand out from the other 15 submitted was her humility and passion for helping others who may feel marginalized.”

Christina has a GPA of 5.0769 and more than 200 hours of community service. She is also a member of HOSA (Future Health Professionals) and DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). She has been active in the National Honor Society and Student Government Association on campus. In addition, Christina created Village Bridges, a platform designed to help underserved Vietnamese students trying to navigate the college admissions process.