The passion for Biology came to Nguyen Phuong Thao from the habit of watching television programs on discovering flora and fauna. The survival of animals in the mysterious natural world has inspired the girl to explore and study to explain it.
As an 11th grader specializing in Biology at VNU University of Science High school for gifted students, Phuong Thao won the Silver Medal in her first participation in the 28th International Biology Olympiad (IBO 28).
For her second participation in IBO (IBO 2018), Nguyen Phuong Thao aimed to win the Gold Medal, but the result was far beyond her and the Vietnam team’s expectations. Thao gained the highest total score among the 261 participants and was honoured as "The first winner" of the contest. This is the first time a Vietnam's International Biology Olympiad team has had a contestant achieving the highest score in the competition.
Nguyen Phuong Thao is also one of the two students from VNU University of Science High school for gifted students to have been awarded the Third-class Labour Medal.
Recently, Thao has been honoured by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee as one of the 10 outstanding Vietnamese young faces in 2018. Subsequently, Phuong Thao was notified of being a recipient of a fully funded scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA).
Though being strongly excited about this achievement, Thao told herself not to rest on laurels, but to continue putting forth effort to face forthcoming challenges.
Nguyen Phuong Thao is said to be one of the many pieces of evidence showing the particularly effective success of VNU’s training model for the gifted.