Susan Quang was born in Saigon and grew up there until 1982 when she left Vietnam at the age of twenty-one. After the war, she and her family decided to leave Vietnam to avoid political prosecution. She escaped to Malaysia with some of her family members and was then sponsored by her brother to come to the United States. Because of the affordable housing and job opportunities, her family decided to settle in Portland, Oregon, where they have remained ever since. Once in Portland, Quang attended PCC and later PSU. Throughout her life, Quang has had a long career and has held many different job titles. She began by working in the technical field in computer information services, then decided to serve her community by becoming a social worker. After that, she worked for the Oregon minority women-owned business enterprises. She then became an insurance agent and financial representative before she retired. During her retirement, Quang is still very active in her community, and in her spare time she and her husband volunteer for environmental programs such as SOLE.

In this interview, Quang shares about her life in Vietnam and Portland. She begins by describing her family’s lives in Vietnam, noting how her family attempted to cope under the new government. She explains her escape via fishing boat to the Malaysian Pulau Bidong refugee camp while being sponsored by her brother who was already in the states. She then talks about how she met her husband and what life was like for her family in Portland. Quang then recounts her education experiences in Portland first learning English and obtaining a degree in computer informational services before going to PSU to study business administration. She then talks about her decision to become a social worker for the Oregon Department of Human Services as a case manager. Next, Quang discusses her time promoting minority and women-owned businesses and running her insurance firm, before concluding the interview by expressing thankfulness for the life that she’s had and her hopes for the future generations of Vietnamese Americans.