Her success led to her becoming the youngest panelist at GenZ Girl Con, an online conference promoting women’s empowerment to hundreds of students and professionals around the world. After speaking, Nguyen received an influx of messages from conference attendees.
What started out as simple questions from curious teenagers led to the formation of The Formula Project. The nonprofit organization is a mentorship program for low-income minority underclassmen to receive support and help develop interpersonal and professional skills.
If those accomplishments weren’t enough, Nguyen recently landed another one. A huge one.
The standout is listed in Forbes Magazine as one of 6 Teens Who Make the World A Better Place.
“It’s super motivational and inspiring to make it to Forbes, especially because we’re all so young,” said Nguyen. “It’s empowering to see other teenagers being involved in activism or entrepreneurship to spark change using their own platforms as launching pads.”
The six teens have already started a group chat to learn about the initiatives and how they can help each other. Nguyen is particularly passionate about providing support to underrepresented communities.
“Growing up as an Asian American, I didn’t see many female people of color represented or in leadership positions,” said Nguyen. “I noticed there was a lack of role models and support in the community, so I wanted to be the solution to that problem. Eighth grade is an impressionable time in young students’ lives, and I think it’s important that they have role models, especially to guide them through the transition going into high school.
“I know there are a lot of issues in the community, but through The Formula Project, I know that we can take the initiative to make some type of difference.”
Leaving a legacy
Although she’s only 17, Nguyen knows she will leave a legacy.
“With Dyenosaur Apparel and The Formula Project, the overarching mission is to alleviate the burden from underprivileged communities,” said Nguyen. “Whether it’s through social entrepreneurship or philanthropy, my goal is to create lasting positive changes in the community. By helping others, I’ve learned what it truly means to be selfless, and I have a greater understanding of who I am. I know this is bigger than me.”
The Formula Project recently gave out free AP books and microscope kits to students in need. Every month, workshops are held, often inviting guest speakers to discuss their area of expertise. Meetings usually include developing professional skills like public speaking, networking and even STEM-related activities.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. The organization also hosts social events like bowling and volunteering with mentors.
Although the organization is in its early stages, the level of impact has already been felt by mentees, peers and staff surrounding Nguyen.
“She always sees the bigger picture,” said Jason Forsythe, Martin STEM Academy coordinator. “We have people in our lives or community that can always see the problem and that’s the farthest they’ll go. She sees the problem and comes up with solutions, then puts them in action. She’s extraordinary.”
For more information on The Formula Project and ways to get involved, visit theformulaproject.org.