Jun 4, 2014
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A Richmond High School student with nearly perfect grades is headed to college, which is awesome, but there’s so much more awesomeness in this KPIX 5 (CBS) story.

This is how the news station’s tale about RHS senior Meuy Phan begins:

It’s quiet in Meuy Phan’s kitchen, even when she and her parents are all bustling around. They are both deaf, and Phan is their connection to the outside world.  As a family, they communicate in sign but whenever they need something outside the home, Phan is their interpreter, guide and negotiator.  She calls herself the “keyholder.”

Also, add this to the high school senior’s complicated life:

Her mom is mute as well.  Phan says “she can’t speak which makes it difficult for her. Sometimes she’s scared to be by herself.”

And so it’s simply amazing Phan has been able to maintain almost perfect grades. Did we forget to mention that her family cannot afford a home computer or Internet?

“The problem in Richmond,” Phan said, “is too many people dying, not enough people graduating.”

The quote led KPIX 5 to reporting this startling figure: This year’s graduating class at RHS has 352 students. Last year, there were 440 in that same class.

“In this school, a lot of people put themselves down,” Phan told KPIX 5. ” They feel like they can’t get anywhere in life.”

But Phan says it can really happen if more of her classmates are proactive and take advantage of programs such as College is Real, which can be accessed at RHS’s College and Career Center.



About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.