18 Under 18 Highlight: Kellen Vu

Posted in: 18 Under 18

In our Junior Achievement 18 Under 18 recipients series, we’re next highlighting Kellen Vu. He’s helped provide clean water to an entire community in South Sudan! Read on the hear why he was selected as an inaugural Junior Achievement 18 Under 18!

Kellen Vu, Arizona School for the Arts, Glendale 16 years old

When Kellen Vu was a freshman, he read a book about people struggling for water South Sudan. It affected him, and he wanted to make a difference. Freshmen for Fresh Water was born.

“We decided to band together and start a fundraising club,” Kellen said. “We were pretty successful.”

In one year, the group raised $7,000. The mission continues – they’re now up to $21,000. One well costs $15,000, and he’s proud that he’s making a difference in people’s lives.In addition to raising money to build wells, Kellen is the president of his school’s model UN. He is an intern in the neurophysiology lab at Barrow Neurological Institute. Kellen as also a talented artist and has received numerous national awards.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years? At that point I’d still be in medical school, probably specializing. Right now I’m sure that I want to enter medicine because that’s how I think I can best make a positive impact on my community. I’m not sure of the specific field I want to go in. But I am interested in neurology.

Who’s your biggest inspiration? It’s too difficult for me to pick one person. Through all these activities I get to meet a lot of really interesting people with a lot of different perspectives. My inspiration that keeps me going every day is all the friends I meet every day though these activities. They are so accomplished and so diverse. I want to learn from their successes.

What’s the best advice you’ve received? My dad instilled in me to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.