Skip Navigation

Voices Ringing

Carroll High School Blog

Fulbright Scholarship Brings Academics, Family Heritage Full Circle for Anh Pham '20

May 16, 2024
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Anh Pham '20 is ready to write the next chapter in a story that began decades ago and thousands of miles away.

This August, Anh will travel to Vietnam for a year to teach English as a second language after winning a Fulbright Scholarship during her final year studying education, English, and Spanish at the University of Dayton.  The opportunity to teach while exploring her cultural heritage is a dream come true for Anh.

According to the Department of State, approximately 2,000 students earn Fulbright Scholarships each year.  Anh began the highly competitive application process after learning about Fulbright through the honors program during her second year in college.  Encouragement from UD’s Director of National Competitive Scholarships Dr. Laura Cotton Howell, Honors Program Coordinator Courtney Kingston, and fellow Carroll alum and Flyer Philip Cicero '20 pushed Anh to begin the highly competitive application process in October 2023.

Anh Pham and Carroll teacher Katie Nielsen

One of Anh’s biggest supporters throughout the process was one of her Spanish teachers at Archbishop Carroll High School, Katie Nielsen.  As a Fulbright alumna who taught English in South America from 2008-2009, Nielsen not only offered insight and wisdom on the technical aspects of the application process, but provided mentorship and comfort through rough spots on Anh’s road.  They discussed Nielsen’s Fulbright experience and “everything under the sun” during visits at her home, Anh recalls. Resume advice, application material review, and interview practice were always part of their conversations, but the two always found time to have personal conversations and made their friendship a priority.

When Anh found out she was an alternate for the Fulbright Program, Nielsen received one of the first phone calls and provided a voice of comfort.  She also was one of the first to learn that Anh had been promoted to Fulbright Scholar, and they celebrated the news a day later with breakfast along with Anh's manager manager at her part-time job and letter of recommendation writer Lynsey Logsdon.

Sharing the news with her parents was something Anh knew she had to do in person, however.

Her parents “freaked out” when Anh told them she would travel to their home country of Vietnam to teach.  Her father, Tuan, came to America as a refugee during the Vietnam War when he was 20 years old and settled in Chicago.  Her mother, Thuy, was sponsored and arrived in Colorado at the age of 18.  The couple met through a mutual friend, moved to Dayton, married, and raised two children – Anh and her younger sister, Cindy.  Anh’s parents planned to make their first visit to Vietnam before they had children, but canceled their plans when they found out they would soon welcome their first child.

As small business owners, the monetary support of the Fulbright Scholarship will allow Anh’s parents to make the most of their first visit home since the early 1990s.

“I’m just so grateful for this financial support because my parents don’t have to worry about me,” Anh said.  "They’ll be able to spend their resources on themselves.  Everything they’ve done has been for me and my sister.  Education has always been number one in life for their family, and they sacrificed everything for that."

Anh with Dr. Kirsten Mendoza and Dr. David Fine

A career in education has been one of Anh’s goals for many years, and one that countless educations have inspired along the way.  She credits her teachers at St. Peter School in Huber Heights for providing a solid educational foundation during her time in grade school.  UD’s Dr. David Fine, Dr. Kirsten Mendoza, and Dr. Rachel Collopy supported Anh through medical issues she overcame during her Fulbright application process.  Her relationship with Dr. Mendoza, Anh’s first Asian American teacher at any level, has a unique meaning.  “It’s so important for people to have teachers and people they can identify with, and she was one of the first ones for me.”

Anh has already started planning her future pursuing a career in education, and the connections she has built in her journey so far at Carroll and UD are playing an important role in Anh’s future as a teacher. Carroll alumni and UD faculty members Jackie (Marshall) Arnold ‘89 and Peggy (Muick) Brun ‘79 have provided guidance on how to move forward into grad school when Anh returns from Vietnam in 2025.  She hopes to earn a master’s degree at UD and is considering early childhood education and teaching English as a foreign language.

“I want to be able to be someone to provide access to education in the way my parents did for me.”

Posted in Familiar Voices

Meet the 2024 Valedictorians and Salutatorian

May 16, 2024
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Gabriella Kimbrough, Valedictorian, Oakwood

Gabriella will attend the University of Cincinnati as a member of the Connections BS/MD program. She plans to major in Biomedical Science and Spanish and is interested in Emergency Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery. At Carroll, Gabriella was the vice president of the Spanish Honor Society and a member of the National Honor Society. She received the AP Scholar with Distinction award. For volunteering, she received the National Community Merit, National Honor and National Ambassador Awards as well as the ServeOhio Community Impact Award. Gabriella was a two-time Academic All-Ohio Athlete in cross country and a senior captain of the Carroll Women's lacrosse team. She is grateful for her time at Carroll and looks forward to the next eight years at the University of Cincinnati.




Neil Tivakaran, Valedictorian, St. Luke School

Neil is the son of Dr. Sheila Cheruvelil and Dr. Vijai Tivakaran. During high school, Neil has served as Track and Field Captain, Cross-Country Captain, Math Club Co-President, Rubik’s Cubing Club Co-Founder, National Honor Society President, Spanish Club President, Spanish Honor Society Officer, TSA TEAMS Captain, and Community Engagement Team Student Ambassador. His greatest accomplishments include 3-time State Science Fair Qualifier, Melvin Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction, 2022 Cross-Country Team Runner-Up, 7th Place at TSA TEAMS STEM Nationals, and Homecoming King. Neil will attend Harvard University in the fall and plans to become a physician in the future.





Logan Arnold, Salutatorian, St. Brigid School

Logan participated in a variety of activities, including Math Club, Spanish Club, National Honor Society and served as the school House Captain. He greatly enjoyed his four years of running varsity cross country and track and field.  His junior year, he helped his team earn State Runner Up in Cross Country and placed 8th in the state in the 1600-meter race. He deeply enjoyed participating in TSA TEAMS engineering contest, earning the opportunity to compete nationally both junior and senior year. Next year, he will attend the University of Dayton to major in electrical engineering and join their Division I Cross Country and Track Team.

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow
1 comment

Shaina Beam '24: Student of the Week May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Shaina Beam '24, Charity House member and St. Helen School alumna, with Mrs. Liz Emser

Hardworking, determined, and always has a smile on her face – that's Shaina Beam!  When Shaina was an 8th grader at St. Helen, she took my Algebra course through our partnership with local Catholic grade schools. Now, as a senior at Carroll, I'm blessed to have her in class again in AP Calculus. Even as an 8th grader she was hardworking, curious, and determined to do her best every day, and she is even more motivated now as a senior. She encompasses all qualities of a Carroll Patriot, from a 13-year-old to an 18-year-old, her drive, passion, and kindness haven't changed. I can't wait to see all that she accomplishes!

-Mrs. Liz Emser

Favorite Restaurant:

Cheesecake Factory

Favorite Movie:

Lilo and Stitch

Who would play you in a movie?

Olivia Rodrigo

Place you'd love to travel:

The Philippines

What activities do you participate in?

At Carroll, I was a Woodshop Aide, part of the Carroll softball team, and Media 4 Carroll.

What's your favorite part of being a student at Carroll?

My favorite part about being a student was seeing the people at Carroll every day. Spending four years seeing the same group of people has brought me very close to them.

What should school “do” for you?

School should help prepare a person for their next step in life. I believe that Carroll did an amazing job of helping the seniors smoothly get through the initial college process and be ready for a whole new start.

What’s a lesson you learned when you overcame a difficult obstacle?

A lesson that I learned when I overcame a difficult obstacle was that it's easier to turn to the people around you when things get rough.

What’s your biggest dream in life?

My biggest dream in life is to travel. Whether it's with my family or with my friends, I love going places and seeing new things.

How do you like spending your free time?

I like spending my free time going out. Whether it's bike rides, Kings Island trips, or hanging with friends, I find it difficult to stay inside all day. 

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Serving the Community in Two Languages: Meet Yuridia Hernandez-Gomez '24

May 14, 2024
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Entering high school can seem unfamiliar and overwhelming for most new students and their families. For Patriot families that don’t speak English as their first language, the whole experience-filling out paperwork, learning new routines, and meeting the rigorous expectations- can be daunting. Thankfully, students like Yuridia Hernandez-Gomez ‘24 have made themselves available to serve the Spanish-speaking community at Archbishop Carroll by providing translation services, both on campus and in the greater Dayton area.

For Yuri, translating is second nature to her everyday life. “Since I can remember, I’ve been translating,” she recalled. When a kindergarten teacher told Yuri’s mother that Yuri would likely never learn English if only Spanish was spoken at home, Yuri’s mother, a native Spanish-speaker, found ways to immerse her daughter in English-speaking situations where she would be able to hear and speak English. “My mom did everything she could so that I could be bilingual,” said Hernandez-Gomez.

Since those early days, Yuri has been translating for her parents and helping her family, originally from Mexico, through the ins and outs of life in the United States. Yuri is also proud to help her sister, Kathelin ‘26, navigate high school so that she does not have to face the steep learning curve that Yuri did.  Yuri also has been providing that assistance to other Hispanic families in the Carroll community.

“She is the glue for our native Spanish-speaking families at Carroll,” said Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion Mrs. Tara Ashworth. On many occasions, families will mention how Yuri assisted them with filling out forms, directed them where to go, and guided them through the next steps that come with the high school experience to Ashworth.

Yuri credits Ashworth for welcoming and assisting her and her family in those early years at Carroll. Now, Yuri pays it forward by offering her assistance in both Spanish and English for incoming Hispanic students and families at orientations, open houses, and other schoolwide functions. “I know what it’s like,” Yuri said, “I used to be running around having to translate for my family.”

When she is not wearing her translator hat, Yuri is still very much helping other students through her various leadership positions. She is a proud Gonzaga House Captain, and she has enjoyed planning schoolwide events. She also fondly recalled her time as a PATS Retreat leader. Like her service to the Hispanic community, she really enjoyed helping her timid peers open up and grow deeper in their relationship with Christ during their time on retreat.

This past May, Yuri was able to receive her Seal of Biliteracy, a medal awarded to students who have achieved a level of mastery in both Spanish and English. “To some people, it’s just a medal,” said Yuri. “To come from a Hispanic family, it means everything.  They had nothing, and they gave me everything.”

Following graduation, Yuri will attend Wright State University to study nursing, a path she also says is inspired by her experience translating. “I’ve translated at the hospitals for people I don’t know,” Yuri said. Like her time serving as a translator at Carroll, she has helped Spanish-speaking patients ask questions to medical professionals, fill out paperwork, and help people find where they need to go in a hospital. Because of this, she felt the call to be a nurse who could communicate with patients in both Spanish and English.

Yuri has made it her mission to work with students, parents, and now hospital patients who are apprehensive and overwhelmed by the language barriers and help provide peace and empowerment to navigate through the English-speaking situations. Looking back on how far she has come in her own English language mastery, she is very proud to share these accomplishments with her family, specifically her parents.

“All of this makes my family proud because I was told I was never going to do it, and I’ve done more than that now.”

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Voices Ringing and Rocking in Top-Rated Music Conservatory Program

May 13, 2024
By Archbishop Carroll High School

Rock music has always been a pastime for Natalie Holz ‘24 and her family. She and her family would watch videos together of live performances from some of rock music’s legendary bands, such as Van Halen. What started out as family bonding time has now turned into a lifelong passion and future career path in the music industry through one of the top music production programs in the nation.

With rock music playing in her home, Natalie decided to begin playing guitar at the age of 8. At the beginning, it was a private hobby that she enjoyed. “It was really fun (to play),” recalled Holz, “There were times I wanted to quit because it was challenging, but I’m glad I stuck with it.” Eventually, she was ready to share her talents onstage at St. Brigid her eighth grade year for a concert honoring her school music teacher, who was retiring.

Since then, Natalie has played the guitar for Carroll’s Call for Talent Shows and now plays in various bands at Carroll in the Dayton area. She even had the opportunity to play rock music in a band at Levitt Pavillion with other youth rock bands in the area last summer. In addition to her guitar-playing experiences, she is currently expanding her musicianship by playing the bass guitar, piano, and various percussion instruments.

While listening to and playing along with some of her favorite indie bands, including Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard, and Daisy Grenade, Natalie has spent the last two years working on recording some of her own original pieces in preparation for college. Among the programs that interested Natalie, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music’s program piqued her interest.

Natalie Holz performs at Carroll's Call for Talent in January 2024.

To pursue a degree in Virtual Music Production at CCM, Holz had a rigorous, three-phase application process. First, her initial application had to be accepted by the conservatory program. Then, Natalie submitted her artist portfolio with original recordings and samples of pieces she has digitally mixed herself. Having passed through both of those phases of the process, Natalie was invited to a sit-down interview at CCM. She was offered a spot in the program and was very excited to accept it.

She looks forward to entering the Bachelor of Arts program for Virtual Music Production at CCM in the fall. She plans on honing her craft so that she can work as a sound engineer for touring musicians or produce and record music in the studio with her fellow artists, starting with some self-produced tracks of hers coming to Spotify at the end of 2024.

Natalie has come a long way since those early days of watching Van Halen performances, and she credits her musicianship for helping shape her into a more confident person. That confidence has helped her successfully pursue and be accepted by a top-ranked school and program when others said it might be too challenging. “It’s just cool to look back at videos of when I first started (playing guitar) and to see the progress,” said Holz.

She hopes that her continued progress will lead her to mix and record music that other young people (much like her eight-year-old self) will listen to and be inspired by in the future. 

Posted in Voices of Tomorrow

Recent Posts

5/16/24 - By Archbishop Carroll High School
5/16/24 - By Archbishop Carroll High School
5/16/24 - By Archbishop Carroll High School
5/14/24 - By Archbishop Carroll High School
5/13/24 - By Archbishop Carroll High School


Summer Camps