Vananh Nguyen Vuong was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and moved to the United States in 2003 when she was sixteen. Vuong and her family first settled in Westminster California because they were sponsored by Vuong’s aunt who lived there. Then in 2004, they decided to move to Portland for job opportunities and to be closer to other family and friends. They moved to Southeast Portland, around 92nd Street. Vuong attended John Marshall for her high school education. The school was split into four smaller schools and she attended Linus Pauling academy, which specialized in science and literature. For college, Vuong attended Oregon State University, where she studied public health. During college Vuong was involved in MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences). After college, she worked for the Asian Health and Service Center for three years as a grant coordinator. She recently moved to Seattle because her husband found a job there. She is currently working as a data coordinator for The Urban Indian Health Institute under the Seattle Indian Health Board.

In this interview, Vuong covers leaving Vietnam and coming to the United States. This was especially challenging because they originally escaped on a boat to Thailand, only to be sent back to Vietnam. Finally, in 2003, Vuong’s aunt was able to sponsor her family to move to the United States. Vuong describes her aunt’s sponsorship of their family and her high school education in both California and Portland. She states that she preferred her experiences with the Portland Public Schools because John Marshall was able to meet her individual needs. Vuong goes on to describe her and her parents’ experiences when they first arrived in the city, and then what it was like to leave and attend Oregon State. Vuong also goes into great detail about the Asian Health and Service Center and all the different programs this organization has to meet the needs of their fellow citizens. Vuong ends her interview by discussing how missing data is one of the biggest issues for Vietnamese public health. Explaining how organizations will often clump Vietnamese with the larger Asian community which makes it difficult to specify the needs of the community.