Spring ISD student accepted into every Ivy League school shares how his parents, deaf community inspire him

As Cody Chou began getting college acceptance letters, he remembers being in disbelief.

"It was just overall excitement that just grew and grew," said Cody, senior at Spring Early College Academy in Spring ISD. 

That's because the list of colleges he was accepted to got longer and longer!

He was accepted into every Ivy League school and multiple prestigious universities.

Cody is the first in his family to go to college. His parents are immigrants from Vietnam and Hong Kong. They, he says, are who inspire him.

"They were both born deaf and because of that I really love the deaf culture and the deaf community in Houston," he explains.

He says his first language was American Sign Language and he did not learn English until he began school.  

"It was actually tough, more challenging for me, to learn English and to speak English mostly because I didn't have anyone to speak to in the household," Cody noted.

But it is his experiences at the intersections of various cultures -- American and Asian, Hearing and deaf, that drive him and add meaning to his accomplishments.

"Most people don't realize that there are simple privileges in life like having two amazing parents, having a sister, or even hearing," Cody said.

"To know him is to understand that he is somebody who anybody would want on their campus," said Kristin Guidry, Principal, Spring Early College Academy.

Guidry says Cody's parents instilled growth over perfection in him.  

"He's one that constantly seeking to improve himself," she noted.

However, she says what really make Cody stand out is that growth for him involves helping others along the way.

"In his quest, he has really been much of a servant in that he brings the rest of his classmates with him," Guidry added.

She says Cody tutors other students and even began an SAT prep program on campus.

Helping others is also what is shaping his future plans and goals. He decided to attended Harvard University where he ultimately intends to pursue medical and doctorate degrees.

"I really want to give back to the community that really helped me the most especially the deaf community," he concluded. "I really want to go into academic research, especially in hearing and disability research."

Cody also credits the Emerge Program at Spring ISD for his accomplishments. The program helps prepare students in underserved communities for college.