The founder of a global STEM mentoring nonprofit says authenticity and transparency are key. Share your own stumbles—and how you overcame them.
While I was in high school, I was an ambitious student with a serious vision for my future. The daughter of Vietnamese refugees, I was quickly learning that my parents would not be able to guide me to where I needed to go, whether educationally or financially, to achieve my goals. As my friends’ parents cheered them on at extracurriculars that would help them get into college, I often could not get a ride to mine. I spent my summers working 12-hour shifts at KFC (with a night shift at Hollywood Video) to save for a car to get me where I needed to go, and tuition when the time came. Simply because of the family I was born into, my pathway was littered with roadblocks as I battled between what I needed to achieve my dreams, and what my parents believed to be true–or in many cases, didn’t understand.