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04 DOSIER:

Stephanie Nguyen, Program Coordinator- San Diego

Name:  Stephanie Nguyen

Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I was lucky enough to get to live in a city that has perfect weather, and easy access to beaches, mountains, and deserts. The sunsets here are beyond beautiful– especially when there are giant clouds in the sky. I sometimes will stop what I am doing just to admire the clouds.

What’s a short story around the biggest transition you’ve faced in life?
When I was 26 I decided it was time to venture out of the known and into the unknown. I packed up my bags and hopped on the next flight to Denver. With no friends, family, or a home in Denver– I found a way to make a new home for myself, make new friends, and I even became an advocate for the marginalized communities in Denver. I used to live comfortably, and I believe that you need to get uncomfortable in order to make changes in your life, in the world around you, and for personal growth. I spent a lot of time doing therapy as well, and it helped me overcome so many obstacles that were holding me back from my own personal growth. As the years progressed in Denver, I found comfort in the uncomfortable.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a younger you?
Take a step back and enjoy the world around you, breathe– because the world you are so accustomed to will change within an instant. Stay grounded in who you are, and love yourself enough to believe that you are worthy of being anything you wish to become or to accomplish.

Your Personal Why?
From the ages of 11 up until now, I have always wanted to figure out what my purpose in life was. I questioned myself on a daily basis on why I was brought into this world, and I’m starting to realize that it was to help others to the best of my ability. I have always advocated for the hurt, the unheard, and the ignored. When walking or driving around neighborhoods with my family, or friends; I’d always make sure to take the time out and make conversation with those who were/are houseless. I always made sure to let them know that I saw them, I heard them, that I was willing to help them in any way I can, and to share their stories. I found that most of the houseless folks were veterans, and as a child I took it to heart that our heroes were treated as less than when they were retired. I want to help lead the next generation into leading with empathy, and loving wholeheartedly.

How does your Why drive you to be a part of the THF Ecosystem?
I am driven with the need to help others, (especially veterans) find support within a community that is capable and willing to aid them through tough transitions. It is hard to achieve things, like personal growth or career growth alone and I feel like THF is a community that excels in guiding folks down a path to greatness. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, especially when you have a collective of folks willing to help and support you in any way they can.

Military Connection or Why do you respect Special Operators?
My younger brother is a veteran, and he was dedicated and amazing at what he specialized in. I believe that anyone who is willing to put their life on the line to protect others are heroes, and I can’t imagine how hard it is for anyone to leave their loved ones behind, let alone to transition back into civilian life. I am grateful to be in a position that can give back to them.

Favorite THF Value, and why?
My favorite THF value is Fierce Empathy. The reason for this is because I don’t think there is such a thing as “too much” empathy. If we all lead with empathy as a collective, I think the world would become an even better place for those who are currently here, and for future generations to come. Empathy is also very healing, and it helps you to also be more understanding, supportive, and loving toward others– and most importantly, to yourself.

Area/Industry of expertise:  I am a chameleon– I can adapt to pretty much anything I set my mind to. I have been trying to get into the nonprofit sector for about 5 years now, even doing volunteer work for marginalized communities, while juggling working in the Events & Hospitality industries. I was blessed with being accepted into the THF family, and am now currently working as a Program Coordinator. I also write poetry, essays, and sometimes dabble in writing music.

 

Contact Stephanie directly at stephanie.nguyen@honor.org