"North high school has a lot of hidden treasures that typically people on the outside may not be aware of", says Minneapolis North guidance counselor George Mountin.
Of the "hidden treasures" at Minneapolis North, one of them is certainly senior Kochul Thao.
Says Thao, "I study a lot, like ah, 3 hours a night or more if I need to, it depends on how many homework I get from my teachers."
Kochul's parents immigrated to the United States looking for a better life for themselves and their seven children, and at home, good grades are expected.
"My family, they want me to have good grades, 'cause they came from a country where they didn't have an education. So, it is required for me to get a good education and get a good paying job to support them", says Kochul
Support comes in many forms, and while forging a 3.6 GPA, and earning a spot in the top 10% of North's senior class, Kochul also serves as a teacher's aide, helping fellow Hmong students learn English.
"It puts a kid in a spot where they're, again contributing to the well being of the community here at the high school, and it's good help" says Mountin.
The Vice President of North High's Asian Club, who once won a national award for a web design, Kochul's help extends beyond the North campus and out into the Hmong community.
"He has his, already has his license to sell real estate, and he does financial planning with Hmong families", says Mountin.
I ask Kochul, "10-years down the road I come back, and where do I find Kochul?" Kochul answers, "Probably working with a business. Anything in particular in-mind? Probably working in the financial field."
We're guessing Kochul will probably be an All-Star in that venue as well.
(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)