Thao Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1980 and immigrated to Portland with her family in 1986. Growing up, she lived in Tigard and the Gresham areas and attended Benson High School. She then went on to obtain a degree in biochemistry from Portland State University and her PharmD from Oregon State University. Currently, Thao Nguyen lives in Happy Valley with her husband and children and works as a pharmacist.

In this interview, Nguyen begins by sharing how her family came to live in Portland and what her childhood was like growing up in Tigard and Gresham. She describes her family’s journey and the hard work it required for her entire extended family to leave Vietnam and come to the United States. She talks about her experience in Portland Public Schools as well as at PSU and OSU. Nguyen also shares how she has been involved in the Vietnamese community in Portland, such as attending the Tet Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival with her daughters. Furthermore, she explains how she hopes her daughters will grow up learning the traditions, language, and food of Vietnam. At the end of the interview, she talks about her Vietnamese identity, generational differences in the community, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.