Andy Phan is from Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, and came to the United States in the summer of 1975 at the age of fourteen. Right after the war, Phan and his family were placed in Camp Pendleton, a Marine base-turned-refugee camp near San Diego, before moving to Portland, Oregon through sponsorship by the United States Catholic Charity. Growing up in the northeast neighborhood of Portland, Phan began tenth grade at James Madison public high school. During this time, Phan had an influential teacher who was tasked with aiding the new immigrant population in learning English. After high school, Phan planned to pursue a career in electrical engineering, until his mother encouraged him to consider dentistry. He went on to complete dental school at OHSU and has opened his own practice in southeast Portland on 82nd street.

In this interview, Andy Phan begins by touching on the experience of fleeing to the United States and staying at Camp Pendleton. He describes the sacrifices his parents made to move to the United States and support their family. He recalls how refugees faced discrimination in the U.S., one example being a xenophobic article by TIME author George Will. He also discusses growing up in Portland and his experience with learning English, including teachers that were influential in his life. He continues on to describe his career as a dentist and concludes with his thoughts on how the Vietnamese community has changed since he arrived in 1975, emphasizing the diversity and changing political winds.