From Prep to Lab, Fairmont Student Paves Her Path to Success

Someone once said, “The stepping stones to success are the drive, determination, and the desire to do your best.” For Fairmont Prep graduate, Dani Nguyen, this sentiment holds a lot of truth.

After graduation from Fairmont Preparatory Academy in 2017, Dani chose to attend California State University, Fullerton where she majors in Biological Science with a concentration in Molecular Biology/Biotechnology and minors in Psychology. As a rising undergraduate student, her enthusiasm for the medical field is evident. It’s for this reason she has been accepted into the Bio-organic/Biochemistry research laboratory where she works as a research assistant, an honor for a freshman, and a real testament to her passion as a student.

As an undergraduate research assistant, she will be conducting chemical experiments using a special technique called SELEX. This entails developing small molecules such as enzyme inhibitors and targets for DNA Aptamers so they can use them for DNA nanorobots in the future. Loosely translated, she’s working on some very cool stuff.

“This project will help me somewhat prepare for more laboratory works. Hopefully, I will be familiar with all the skills and process when I’m able to conduct my own independent research,” Dani said.

Already looking ahead, Dani would like to pursue an M.D. or Ph.D. and work as a medical researcher. “I want to travel the world to bring new cures to people,” she said. Ultimately, her goal is to explore different aspects of biochemistry and apply them to everyday life.

There is no doubt that Dani Nguyen is well on her way to Paving her Path to success, with an incredibly bright future ahead. When asked what advice she’d give to current Fairmont seniors, she said “Expect the unexpected. You will never know what you are capable of until you try it.”

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”