I had an uncommon upbringing, raised by my mom and a Vietnamese immigrant stepfather from the age of four in Portland, OR. Spending family time in the Vietnamese immigrant community, amongst many who had escaped by boat from their war torn country, I gained a deeper understanding on the importance of community, survival and resilience.
My mom had tremendous influence in my life as well. As a community college educator, she modeled passion for her work, the importance of providing opportunity to those who might otherwise struggle, and the reward of doing service for others.
At 14, when my biological father was finally diagnosed with PTSD from the effects of his service in the Vietnam War, I had my first true insight into mental illness. It brought meaning to my experience of my father seeming like two different people. I remember becoming fascinated to find out that avoidance could be a symptom. I was fortunate that he was willing to share his healing journey with me as he started to seek treatment at the VA and began to reunite with former comrades for the first time in over 20 years.
The passion for psychology that my dad initiated, coupled with the examples of my mom’s work and my stepfather’s immigrant journey, eventually set me on the path to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I consider it a privilege to provide service and expertise to anyone who might feel challenged or stuck in their everyday life.
In my free time, I very much enjoy soccer, ultimate frisbee, karate, hiking, reading and cooking.