Christine Nguyen


Graduation Year – May 2025

Hometown – Alexandria, VA

Do you speak any languages other than English? – Yes, Vietnamese

What is your major(s) and minor(s)? – Major: Computer Science Minor: Civic Engagement & Social Justice and Leadership Studies

What are your educational and/or career goals? How do you see your participation in the Bonner program relating to them? – I plan to become a software engineer in the future. In Bonner, I apply skills that I have picked up on the computer or in my classes when needed. Beyond helping my service site with its technological needs, being in Bonner helps strengthen and develop my values and ethics. Within the technology world, it is important to be socially aware and make ethical decisions because we are responsible for developing products that will have a significant impact on society. We have to consider the social and environmental impacts of the work we do, and Bonner consistently pushes me to discuss and consider these implications. 

What is your service site and service track(s)? – My service site is Freekind, where I work with The Prevention Project™ which spreads human trafficking prevention education. My service tracks are Civic Engagement & Social Action, Community Development, and Youth Development and Education.

Other than Bonner and your service site, what organizations are you involved with (on and/or off campus)? – I am a resident assistant and I am also in the President’s Leadership Program and Honors Program. In the Fall 2023 semester, I will be studying abroad in Athens, Greece!

Why did you want to become a Bonner Service Scholar? – In my hometown, I was not involved in a lot of community service because my home life kept me sheltered from what my family knew and was comfortable with. I didn’t have many chances to engage with my community the way I would’ve liked to, and I didn’t know how to get started either. The Bonner Program was appealing to me in the sense that I would have more opportunities to serve and learn about what it means to serve my community. On top of that, it’s motivating and empowering to have a group of people with similar values to rely on.

What is your favorite experience that the Bonner Program has given you? My favorite experience so far is the First Year Pilgrimage. My cohort traveled from Newport News to DC, Philadelphia, Chester, and Baltimore to learn about environmental racism. Throughout our trip, we shared our stories, had amazing food, and had tons of good laughs! This was my first glimpse of some values the Bonner Program would come to instill in me: assuming the relationship and the importance of intentionality.

What advice would you give to a new Bonner to help them get the most out of the program? – Fully immerse yourself in each experience you have in the program. Whether that’s traveling to different cities or having a one-on-one conversation with another Bonner, every experience is much more meaningful when you are present at the moment and let yourself enjoy your environment and the people around you. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with yourself and others, sharing a part of yourself with the people you trust can create life-long friendships that you will cherish!

What have you learned about yourself from being a Bonner? – Honestly, I have learned that I am more capable than I thought I was. In the beginning, I doubted how much progress I would be able to make, but so far I have done some pretty cool things including creating activities for The Prevention Project™ that have been implemented into the curriculum, I was on a panel with Freekind, and I’ve done several events where I talk to people about Freekind and/or Bonner. I’ve also grown a lot as a person by becoming more introspective and learning how to be vulnerable with other people.

What do you think your role is in creating social change? What do you see yourself doing in the future to further your role? – I believe my role is to be an educator and listener. The first step to creating any social change is to listen to what the issue is and understand where there is a need. I try my best to practice active listening in both personal and professional aspects. I learn a lot just from having conversations with people because they oftentimes present different perspectives on things that I haven’t thought about before. With this, I continue to share what I learn with others to offer my own perspective and engage in civil discourse. In the future, I would like to progress in my speaking engagements and continue to help develop The Prevention Project™.

What are your hobbies and/or interests (outside of academics and Bonner)? – I like to play the guitar a little and I practice spirituality and divination!

List your favorite: book, movie, musician/band, food, and quote – Book: The Glass Castle; Movie: Everything Everywhere All at Once; Musician: Miley Cyrus; Food: Sushi; Quote: “Forget everything that you think you know.” – Karl Mordo (Doctor Strange)

Share a fun fact – I used to be obsessed with this BBC documentary called Walking with Dinosaurs. I never had a lot of interest in dinosaurs, but this specific documentary was very interesting to me as a child.