Senior Superstar: Vincent Vo


Alyssa Villa, Photography

Our school is filled with amazing and dedicated students who try to do their best in everything they do. One of those students is senior Vincent Vo, a motivated, positive, and involved student at South El Monte High School.

Vincent Vo is a member of the fantastic Academic Decathlon team and is in the honors category which means he has a GPA between 3.80-4.0. He received two bronze medals at a competition on January 28th, one for the science category, and one for the interview category. This is his first year in the academic decathlon, and he only took it as a free period on the side of his college physics class, but ended up enjoying it more than he thought he would. He is taking four AP classes this year: calculus, literature, statistics, and environmental science. “It was a lot to balance between AP, college, and academic decathlon, but you find time to dedicate to either one,” said Vincent. He takes these classes mainly to get his GPA up, “ It was mainly to get my GPA higher, but also because they’re essential to have.” He takes calculus and physics because he wants to go into computer science, or STEM, “taking science and math courses are really beneficial for my major.”

Vincent is motivated to achieve the life he dreams of. His goals for after high school are to go to college and major in computer science so he could one day get a job where he could work with robots and engineer AI. “That sounds fun, especially because it’s more conceivable to think of today,” stated Vincent. He hasn’t heard back from any colleges he’s applied to yet, but he hopes to get into Cornell University or UC Berkeley. Once he gets in he plans to take courses within the computer science major to build up to it, and plans to have a job on the side to pay for expenses, “I need to find a good side hustle to pay for tuition, and out-of-state fees.”

Staying motivated for school is something that almost every student struggles with. Vincent used to be one of these students, “Growing up I wasn’t the best student, I would get into fights, go to the principal’s office often, and I wouldn’t do my homework because I didn’t think I could succeed in school,” but Vincent eventually found motivation. What motivates him the most is the fact that he can achieve success, “I believed that I couldn’t do it in the beginning, but as I tried more and more I realized that I was capable of a lot of things.” Aside from that there are also people in Vincent’s life who motivate him. One of those people is his mother, “My mom motivates me, of course, she came here from Vietnam around 1960, and she owns her own nail salon. She built a life for herself, and she uses that story to inspire me.” Vincent stated having a supportive mother is always a good thing, “She’s always motivating me to keep going.” Another person who motivates Vincent is his close friend Ruben Carrazco, who he’s known since the beginning of 7th grade. Ruben and Vincent are president and vice president of many clubs like CSF, The freshman mentoring program, and the Chess Club. Ruben and Vincent help each other a lot, “I’ve known him since the beginning of 7th grade, and from that point on he would always be there whenever I needed someone to talk to or someone to help me with my homework and I would do the same for him, we work well together,” said Vincent. 

Vincent considers himself a good student, compassionate, and social, He said,  “I call myself a jack of trades because I’m really good with school, but outside I’m also really active with people, I can connect with other people, and I’m also social I like to chat with people, have fun, and go out with people once in a while.” One piece of advice from Vincent for everyone reading is “Get out of your comfort zone, try new things, don’t be afraid to meet new people.” In the past, Vincent was an isolated person, but during his junior year he started to put himself out there more and tried new things, and it opened up more doors for him, “Freshman year I was isolated, Sophomore year was distance learning so I didn’t do anything, but junior year was the first year I joined ASB and many of the other clubs I’m in. It’s really fun to work with other people and just get to know them.” We can all learn a thing or two from Vincent, and hopefully his story can inspire many students.