SAUGUS — KIPP Academy’s most recent valedictorian is off to Stanford University this fall. But it wasn’t easy getting her there.
Victoria Chiek graduated from the local charter school last week with the highest grade point average of her class, a weighted total of 4.35. The daughter of Cambodian immigrants applied to 24 universities, with an abundance of acceptance letters from schools such as Williams College, Amherst College, and Georgetown University. The Saugus resident decided on Stanford after it awarded her with the biggest scholarship. She will only have to pay $900 in tuition a year.
“I do have pressure as an Asian child and it’s rough because it’s sort of like my worth is awarded to me by my achievements, and I don’t see that with a lot of my classmates because their families give them unconditional support and praise no matter how well they do,” she said.
Chiek may have ended up exactly where she wanted, but the soon-to-be first generation college student faced many trials during her young scholarly career. She began in Lynn at Harrington Elementary School, but when her family moved to Saugus a year later she graduated from Veterans Memorial Elementary School. Next was Belmonte Middle School where she stayed until seventh grade.