Thanh Pham, left, Nancy Vargas, and Fernanda Reyes participated in Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School’s Baccalaureate Mass and Convocation Thursday, May 17, at Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. They are three of the many young women and men who have benefited from the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund. (Advance photo)

Three graduates of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School exemplify the benefits of stewardship in the Diocese of Wichita and how the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School Fund can change lives. All of the three young women are members of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Wichita.
Thanh Pham, the daughter of Sang Pham and Nga Le, said in an email interview that her Catholic education and stewardship are things she does not take lightly. She estimated that the education for her and her sister would have cost over $150,000.
As a result of that education, she said she is now blessed to have a total of over $1 million in college scholarships. “The generosity of the Catholic church has not only afforded me this privilege, but it has also cultivated my mind and spirit, allowing me to balance both academics and Christ in my life.”
Pham is planning to major in neuroscience at the College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia.
“This is only due to a Catholic education, as we believe that life starts at conception, which is contrary to most secular school curriculums,” she said.
“My Catholic education has instilled in me a profound love for the unborn and I want to do the best I can to…help the unborn babies in need, who are truly the most innocent.”
She encouraged other students who may be a part of a low-income family or who might be first-generation college students to keep studying. “Your hard work will pay off and your parents love you so dearly!”
Nancy Vargas, the daughter of Armando Vargas and Fabiola Balderas, will be studying math and computer science in the fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
“A Catholic education has helped me become a well rounded individual,” she said. “Kapaun and St. Margaret Mary have not only helped me excel academically, but also physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”
She said she will apply in college what she has learned in grade and high school.
“When life or school get too stressful, you can always turn to your faith for comfort,” Vargas said. “That will probably help me through many tough times in college.”
The mission of the Diocese of Wichita’s St. Katharine Drexel fund is to assist parishes that struggle financially to carry out the mission of Catholic education in parish school.