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Elizabeth Hanna Pham, '08

Posted: 4/1/2015

Elizabeth, you attended HSP from elementary school to high school. How did your time at HSP help form you into the person you are today? I always used to say that HSP was like a family and I still look at it that way. You got the feeling people cared about you as a whole person— about your life and your future and your happiness, not just your grades and where you got into college. That kind of environment allowed me to feel more confident in myself, in God’s love for me, and in who I was meant to become.

What are your thoughts on HSP’s Mission and HSP’s Portrait of a Graduate?  I think those are beautiful summaries of much of what HSP gave me. I feel HSP nurtured my prudence in particular. In religion classes, history classes, literature classes, Mass, and in casual conversations, I had so many discussions with teachers and other students about “the right thing to do” in a given circumstance. In my time at HSP I knew so many people so passionate about developing prudence.

What’s your best memory from your HSP years? The trip to Rome was definitely one of my best experiences at HSP. But some of my fondest memories were the simple things like hanging out with friends after school, making music around the piano, and celebrating Christmas together. One of the fun things about being the third graduating class was getting to witness a lot of firsts: first homecoming dance, first winning football game, etc. Those things really made us more of a family. I do still keep in touch with many of my HSP friends— a few of them are some of my very best friends. 

You are a prolific writer with your own blogs and are often invited to write on other well-known Catholic sites. What themes do you enjoy covering the most? Can you give us an update on your book? What advice do you have for aspiring writers? I like to write about most things as long as they are things I can form an opinion about! On my own blog some recurring themes are dating, marriage, parenthood, wellness, culture, and personal fulfillment. When contributing to Christian websites and newspapers I usually focus on the conflicts and opportunities that come with applying faith to our culture and world. My first novel, The Best Years, will be published in May 2015. It is a fiction coming-of-age story about a girl struggling with her world and with the meaning of her life. My advice to aspiring writers: write every day. Once you (and someone you trust) feel confident that what you’ve written is good and important, get over your fear of rejection, and put it out in the world. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you don’t!

Elizabeth holds a Bachelors of Art in Philosophy from the University of Georgia. She is happily married to An Pham and is the mother of one-and-a-half year-old Joseph. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Her personal website is www.degreesinidealism.com. She has published in various newspapers and journals, in particular: Crisis Magazine, The Christian Review and New Feminism.