Cathy N., 20's
Washington State, US
I am an Environmental Health and Safety Program Manager at T-Mobile. I manage safety programs and safety compliance, ensuring employees understand and follow rules and guidance to work safely. My primary focuses now are on safety training, regulation review, and incident reporting.
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
My parents met in the U.S. after immigrating at different points from Vietnam. My father was sponsored by a Washington family in 1978 after escaping by boat, while my mother was able to immigrate in 1992. I was born in Washington State.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
I think being Asian American gives different strengths and challenges to different individuals. But for me, my identity has taught me about appreciation and to have an open mind to different perspectives. A challenge may be some individuals who don't understand or fear our background, but we can at least try to have a conversation with them to understand each other.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
It is strange for me to think of my proudest accomplishment, but it would have to be starting my career and getting to my current position today. I know there is a lot of work to do to improve myself and I have a lot of support from the people around me.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
My family has taught me so much, but the most important thing I appreciate is how much they had to sacrifice and struggle in order to create a better life for their families. It's because of their struggles that it inspires me to help them back and to help my friends and community where I can.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
I do speak some Vietnamese, but I definitely need more practice to improve. When I was younger, I wanted to fit in with kids around me, who were mostly Caucasian. So I rejected using it, but I eventually grew to appreciate the language and culture. I am catching up on learning and practicing with my family. It's something I want to be able to pass down.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Be brave and go after your dreams and passions. I am striving to be a good leader and I think our community needs more young leaders who can represent or at least be a voice for our community.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
My greatest joy in life is to help others and spending time with my loved ones. It's because of my family and friends that I want to make a bigger impact, whether it's in our community or for the community at large, because there is a lot more we can do collectively to make it better for ourselves and future generations.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
Want to share your voice?
To be featured, read the directions and fill out this form. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome.
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