Mary was born in 1954 in Hai Phong, Vietnam. She moved to Portland in 1985. After arriving in Oregon, Nguyen worked for over twenty-five years providing important Vietnamese language translation services as an on-call interpreter for the Health Department of Multnomah County. She also received an electrical engineering degree from Portland State University and currently works as a Construction Technician for Multnomah County. Nguyen has created and updated drawings for every County facility, which has been instrumental in transforming thousands of pages of paper drawing into electronic format. She is an active member of both the Vietnamese Senior Association and the Vietnamese Community of Oregon. When Nguyen isn't volunteering her time to help others, she enjoys being with her family and friends.

Mary Nguyen begins the interview by explaining her involvement with and the importance of the Vietnamese Senior Association of Oregon. Afterwards, Nguyen details her experience immigrating to the United States. Nguyen’s family fled Vietnam days before the Fall of Saigon in 1975. However, because she was in school in Saigon, Nguyen was not able to leave with them. Instead, Nguyen finished her education in Saigon and left Vietnam by boat in 1981. From there, her and husband lived in West Germany, eventually reuniting with Nguyen’s family in Portland in 1985. During the interview, Nguyen shows and describes documentation from her journey to Malaysia by boat and her time living in Germany. Next, she describes her initial impressions of Portland and her career history. Although Nguyen attended college in Portland, she explains that much of the practical experience she gained was through friends and family. Nguyen explains her difficulty learning English, and mentions how that led her to a career in engineering. In the last section of her interview, Nguyen describes her experiences with workplace discrimmination and discusses the amount of determination and dedication that was necessary to create a prosperous life in Portland.