Eli Vu graduated from Clayton Valley Charter this spring a week after he collected his first college diploma

Eli Vu graduated from Clayton Valley Charter this spring 2 weeks after he collected his first college diploma

Eli Vu graduated from Clayton Valley Charter this spring a week after he collected his first college diploma
Clayton Valley High graduate Eli Vu collected both high school and college diplomas just a few weeks apart.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (August 2, 2022) — There were 541 seniors in the Clayton Valley Charter Class of 2022 who crossed the stage at the Concord Pavilion June 2 to get their high school diploma. Eli Vu of Concord was probably the one grad who could say that the ceremony was “old hat” after what he had experienced two weeks earlier.

You see, while Vu was spending four years at CVCHS meeting school and state requirements for graduation and earning a place in the National Honor Society, he also was taking Diablo Valley College classes to earn four associates degrees, which had been bestowed on him May 20 in the Pleasant Hill campus football stadium.

Now preparing to start the next phase of his education at UC Davis next month, Vu harkens back to his middle school years at Tabernacle School for the start of his unique educational journey.

Mathematics has always been his favorite subject. Tabernacle, a Christian school in Concord, allows middle school students to take pre-algebra in seventh grade. Vu did that and took an online algebra class that summer through Tabernacle, allowing him to take geometry in eighth grade.

A new path

That summer online course opened up a whole new path for the inquisitive student as he prepared for his freshman year at Clayton Valley Charter when he would be entering public school for the first time after nine years at Tabernacle.

His summer before high school he took algebra II at DVC in a hybrid setup that included pre-recorded lectures and tests held in the classroom. That enabled him to take pre-calculus as a CVCHS freshman and calculus on the DVC campus the following summer.

It was during that summer when Vu could begin to envision doing more than just take classes through the community college to satisfy his thirst for learning. “I’ve always wanted to learn everything.”

For his final three years of high school Vu not only had his full load of six classes at Clayton Valley Charter but also took courses summer, fall and spring semesters at DVC.

By the time he was wrapping up his senior year in high school, Vu had taken enough DVC general education courses and specific major required classes in order to qualify for associate degrees in mathematics, economics, political science and administration of justice. Beyond the 20 classes he took at DVC he also was able to apply four AP test results from high school advance placement classes to complete the requirements for those four degrees.

While doing all that studying, Vu fit in four years of volleyball for the Ugly Eagles, including two years on varsity, as well as being in the National Honor Society and CVCHS Link Crew.

Report card

And Vu wasn’t just skating through those classes, he got an A in every single high school and college class for unweighted 4.0 GPAs.

Perhaps that perfection was incentivized by his experience in the last quarter at Tabernacle. He took an elective class in cross stitching. He lost his final project, which dropped his grade to a B, his only one in middle school. Vu didn’t use the age-old “that my dog ate my homework” excuse. “I actually lost the project,” he said while adding he was extremely upset about it.

After receiving acceptances to UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, Vu selected the latter because its School of Medicine in Sacramento is directly part of Davis and he felt that was his best option to be involved in research during his college years.

His best friend, Alexander Akl from Clayton Valley, has enrolled there as well. The two didn’t know each other as freshmen but met that summer, ironically, when they were taking the same calculus class at DVC.

He will be starting his UC Davis classes next month, but before then he has to finalize paperwork with the College Board on two of his AP tests in order to complete the materials needed by DVC to formalize his poli sci and econ degrees. When that is done Davis will recognize him as a junior in standing.

Vu aspires to become a doctor “using mathematics and medicine to help people.”

The usual route for a person entering their junior year in college would be two years for their bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school and then 3-6 years in residency. If someone were to place odds on that timetable for Eli Vu, I might just take the under.

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | sports@pioneerpublishers.com | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.