HOBART — Christine Nguyen of Edmond was awarded a second-place scholarship of $2,500 from Four Star Leadership in July for her state cancer initiative.
Nguyen attended Four Star Leadership’s world-class program in July 2018 where she and 68 classmates were issued the Understanding Community challenge by Ret. General Tommy Franks and Joe Crookham, president of Musco Lighting and Four Star sponsor.
At the beginning of the program, all Four Star Leadership students were asked to identify issues in their schools and communities and develop a plan to solve those problems. Students were encouraged to consider social media approaches, team building, and collaboration with peers to share ideas. Nguyen chose her project to support a cause near and dear to her heart.
“My uncle fought stage four cancer for several years and passed away last February,” Nguyen said. “In his memory, I started Oklahoma’s first high school Students Against Cancer chapter. Our mission is to provide support to Oklahoma patients and caregivers.”
Nguyen’s community program involved working on legislation and gathering supplies to support cancer patients. To implement her cancer initiative, she worked to first gain recognition as a school organization, then established an officer team and monthly meetings with 72 current members. Together, they collaborated with the American Cancer Society and Oklahomans for Step Therapy Reform to advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 509 and led the first youth cohort at the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network Day at the Capitol. Additionally, they created care packages with area non-profit Tenaciously Teal including knit hats and scarves for patients of the Stephenson Cancer Center.
“We were impressed by all of the students who participated in this challenge,” said retired Gen. Tommy Franks. “Christine went above and beyond with her project and really made an impact on her community. We are honored to have her represent our program and to award her with a scholarship to assist in continuing her education.”
Four Star Leadership with General Tommy Franks is considered a world-class leadership program developed as a partnership between the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum and Oklahoma Christian University. Understanding Community is a program of Four Star Leadership. Four Star Leadership offers 70 top high school students invaluable leadership experience through an exciting and challenging curriculum at no cost to students. Since 2008 Four Star Leadership has welcomed 562 U.S. high school students from 48 different states and 45 international students.