Highline students receive scholarships

By Milo Kabigting - Staff Reporter

Two Highline students were recently cited for outstanding academic achievements. 

Phong Ly and Valerie Saylor were both recognized as participating members of the 2018 All-Washington Academic Team. 

The March 22 award ceremony was at South Puget Sound Community College in Lacey. 

Both these recipients are also a part of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society at Highline.

The pair were recognized not just because of academics, but their involvement within the community and Highline campus, as well.

Ly and Saylor both helped prepare and decorate food bins for the Thanksgiving food drive last fall. 

Then they gathered the donations and brought them to the Women's Programs to help people in need. 

Ly and Saylor each said they were surprised when they learned of the award.

"I was actually at the airport, waiting to get on my plane to Vietnam," Ly said. 

Saylor said "I was in disbelief." 

Ly, 20, who has a 4.0 GPA, is an international student from Vietnam. He said he chose Highline because of affordability and diversity. Ly is currently studying computer engineering.

Saylor, 37, hails from Des Moines and has a 3.82 GPA. She said she chose to come to Highline because of how local it is. 

For both recipients, the journey has not been easy. 

Saylor said she struggled with ADHD in high school, but was not diagnosed until she became an adult. 

For Ly, coming to the United States resulted in culture shock. 

"The hardest thing for me was the language barrier and learning the different cultures," Ly said. 

During the ceremony, Ly was one of the top six students to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Washington State Employees Credit Union. 

Ly and Saylor both plan on transferring to University of Washington once they graduate from Highline. 

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