Kristy Nguyen has served in the non-profit and educational fields for more than 20 years. She has been a long-standing advocate for youth development and rigorous academic opportunity for young people. Starting her career as a researcher, she fell in love with direct service while at Working in Support of Education (W!SE), a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve lives through programs which develop financial literacy and readiness for college and career success. At W!SE, Kristy directed and designed a number of programs that prepare students for college and the global workplace, including the W!SE Institute for Lifelong Learning, designated as a cornerstone of a New American High School by the U.S. Department of Education under the Clinton Administration, and the Global Business Challenge. These programs provide enhanced learning experiences, not typically provided in public schools.
Kristy was also a School Business Manager and Director of College and Career Mentoring (CCM) at Queens Satellite High School for Opportunity, a transfer school for over-aged and under-credited students in Jamaica, Queens. While at Queens Satellite High School, she established over 60 partnerships, supporting college access and academic engagement for at-risk youth ages 15-21. Kristy has also served as Executive Director of APEX, a successful one-to-one mentoring organization, selected as a model program by President Obama in 2010 under her leadership.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Kristy immigrated to the United States in the 1970’s as a refugee of the Vietnam War. Having been close to immigrant communities and hard working families throughout her life, she strongly believes that individual, as well as community action, provides opportunities to rebalance and influence positive change. Kristy holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science. She enjoys spending time with family, hiking and the outdoors.
Kristy is honored to be a member of the National Urban Fellows Class of 2016.