LA PUENTE, CA – Bassett High salutatorian Andrew Thai and valedictorian Mylyna Hy stood in front of 270 of their Class of 2017 peers, ready to throw their graduation caps in the air to celebrate completing high school during their commencement on June 2.

“Going to Bassett can get you far if you’re willing to take the opportunities available to you,” Thai said. “Bassett has been really fun – this is where I made a majority of my friends.”

Thai plans to study computer science at Williams College, a decision he weighed against acceptances to UCLA, UC Berkeley and waitlists at Harvard, Carnegie and Rice University. He is also a QuestBridge Scholar, a program assisting promising students from low-income families to attend one of 39 renowned U.S. colleges.

As a QuestBridge Scholar, Thai will have 100 percent of his financial needs met through Williams College’s scholarships, grants and financial aid, which will cover yearly tuition and living expenses of approximately more than $69,000 a year.

“I like how Williams College has a small student population, similar to Bassett High,” Thai said. “All my math, science and programming classes helped me choose my major – I really enjoy problem solving and thinking of new ways to approach how to create something from scratch.”

Thai was successful in advocating for an AP Physics II class at Bassett High to continue advancing his studies. He would like to visit Bassett Unified schools in the future to be a role model for students from low-income families, showing that hard work can lead to admittance to Ivy League universities and boundless career possibilities.

Hy will attend UC Irvine, also with a computer science major – a pathway she came across after her brother and family encouraged her to take a computer programming class at Bassett High.

“I was intimidated by the fact that computer science is a male-dominated field,” Hy said. “But by being in clubs at Bassett High, those organizations really empowered me as a woman to achieve my goals and not let anything hinder me.”

She also credits her teachers and counselors for encouraging her to continue taking computer science classes and supporting her in pursuing a higher education and financial aid.

“In Bassett, there are fewer students so counselors have more time for one on one meetings,” Hy said. “I’ve been able to bond with most of the teachers here – they’ve motivated me in telling me that I can achieve high dreams as long I have the motivation and will power to persevere and keep going.”

Hy and Thai are two of Bassett High Class of 2017 graduates who will attend esteemed colleges across the state and nation, including Boston College, UC Davis and UC Riverside.

“The District is thrilled to see our students graduate with so much academic distinction and continue their education at some of the best colleges in the nation,” Bassett Unified Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “Congratulations to all of our students in the graduating class of 2017.”


060817_BASSETT_GRADUATION1: (From left to right) Bassett High salutatorian Andrew Thai, valedictorian Mylyna Hy and student board representative Natalie Romo hold their diplomas during their June 2 commencement. Thai will attend Williams College, Hy will attend UC Irvine and Romo will attend UC Riverside.

060817_BASSETT_GRADUATION2: Bassett High School graduated 272 seniors during its June 2 commencement. Students will attend prestigious colleges across the state and nation, including Boston College, UC Davis and UC Riverside.