Haeley Nguyen, 17, enjoys baking so much that the Southmoreland High School senior often comes to school with treats for her peers, teachers and staff.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Week, she was asked to contribute to a fundraiser bake sale, and her cupcakes, cookies and brownies raised more than $300, she said.
“My first memory of baking was in the third grade, when I was making watermelon cupcakes. People appreciate what you do,” Haeley said.
“It’s relaxing. You can add all the ingredients and at the end have this delicious and beautiful dessert,” she said.
Haeley also plays the clarinet and is the section leader of the marching band.
She won the positive mental attitude award at the end of band camp.
“I am known to be very energetic. Sometimes I don’t shut up. I excite people, ”he said, laughing.
He also participated in a reading team competition held each year with other school districts.
“I started reading in 2020. Since then, I have read about 1,000 books,” he said.
A friend suggested that she read the book “When” by Victoria Laurie.
“Now, I’m surrounded by books in my room,” Haeley said.
She also enjoyed serving as a production assistant and photographer for last year’s school musical, “Anything Goes,” and hopes to reprise those roles in her senior year.
Haeley’s commitment to academic achievement, her work ethic, and her musical abilities led Southmoreland High School Assistant Principal Charity Colebank to nominate her as this week’s nominee on our Teen of the Week show.
Sponsored by Casini & Geibig, LLC, Connellsville Attorneys, the program will highlight the achievements of an outstanding senior from an area school each Thursday in The Daily Courier, Mt. Pleasant Journal and the Scottdale Independent Observer.
Once all student candidates have been recognized, The Daily Courier and Casini & Geibig will select a Student of the Year, who will receive a scholarship from the law firm.
Colebank noted Haeley’s involvement in numerous activities and the resulting honors, awards and recognition they have bestowed on her.
She is part of the wind ensemble, the National Honor Society, the Spanish Club, the Youth Education Association, the pep band, the graduation committee, and the Scottie Singers.
“She placed second/first at the (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association) championships, participated in the (marching band) parade at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park, and has worked for her family business” , Colebank stated in his nomination petition.
Haeley has also volunteered to help district elementary students with learning activities like counting or motor skills, helping younger students try out musical instruments, and has manned information and concession booths at school and community events.
Describing Haeley in a nutshell, Colebank listed the following:
“Hardworking, creative, energetic, trustworthy and positive.”
Baking, business in your future
Hailey has developed a love of business by working with her family at their Uniontown nail salon, Perfect 10.
“It was a fun place to relax, get a job, learn how to talk to people and make connections,” he said.
A client took Haeley on a college tour, he said.
“I love business. I got that from my parents. And I went to the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week camp (which prepares the state’s youth for a rapidly changing modern workforce). It was a lot of fun,” she said.
Hailey plans to attend college and major in business, specifically marketing, economics, or international business.
One day, you may even combine your love of business with your love of baking.
“Owning my own bakery would always be a fun dream. People say, ‘Haeley, start a bakery. I’ll buy it all,’” she said.
Mary Pickels is a contributing writer for the Daily Courier.