200 Days in the Life of the College

Friday, April 8

His climb to the Hill was steeper than most

By Tucker Keren ’13

The uncommon background of Jimmy Nguyen ’14 has substantially influenced his endless involvement both on campus and in the surrounding community. Nguyen was raised by a single mother in an impoverished public housing district just outside Boston. But Nguyen’s mother, along with his aunt and grandmother, worked tirelessly to lead the family out of poverty. After witnessing his mother’s hard work and spirit, Nguyen has taken it upon himself to give back to a community similar to the one from which he came.

Through Hamilton’s Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP), Nguyen has been dedicating countless hours during his first year to tutoring for the America Reads Challenge in Utica. Similar programs reached out to help Nguyen as he was growing up, and now he wants “to help lead others through poverty in a fun and educational way.”

In August, Nguyen also plans to be a leader for Hamilton’s Outreach Adventure pre-orientation program for incoming first-year students, which serves nonprofit organizations in the cities of Utica and Rome. It is yet another opportunity for Nguyen to help those in need near campus.


Nguyen wants to pursue a double major in world politics and anthropology and, upon graduation, intends to continue on a similar path of community service, including helping people abroad through the Peace Corps. He has learned from his mother and his Hamilton involvement that “emotional problems will always be overshadowed by hard work.” Nguyen works hard nearly every day at Hamilton to help those facing adversity, especially children. He hopes they, too, will go on to attend college one day — and to begin giving back.