Faces of YNPN: Tina Ngo
This article is from of our "Faces of YNPN" series, which highlights the stories of changemakers at YNPN who lead their lives with courage and conviction. Join us as we introduce Engagement Fellow, Tina Ngo.
Choosing Courage & Changing the Narrative Toward an Equitable World
This past year marked the 30th year since my parents and siblings took the journey of a lifetime - when they left a refugee camp in the Philippines and made their way to America. As the youngest and only child born in the United States, I have found that every decision I make is often rooted in my family’s resilience, struggles, and hard work. My family has always believed in making the best of every situation, leading humble lives, and having equal access to every opportunity as proud Americans. However, as I have gotten older, I have learned that while the two former statements are absolute truths, the third statement is not the case for every person living in the United States today.
Growing up, I often straddled two worlds - the one that my parents believed America to be and the one that I lived in every day. While I initially felt so proud every single time I saw the words “Vietnam War” strewn across a history book as I believed it to be an homage to my family’s story, I soon realized at an early age that my family’s story wasn’t actually present in any of the lessons that my teachers taught. What made me feel so different - and oftentimes insignificant - was a lack of acknowledgment of all the hardships that my parents and siblings endured just so that we could make it to America, the land of the free. These were the intangible feelings and experiences that set me apart from my peers - the culture, the language, and more often than not, the trauma transferred generations over from having lived through and survived a war.
As a result of my family’s experiences and those who share similar stories to ours, I have committed to creating an equitable world where people have the opportunity to choose courage and lead lives that reflect their fullest potential. I am so proud to be a part of an organization such as the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) that uplifts these truths and works towards an equitable, diverse, and inclusive nonprofit sector and community. I hope that you’ll join me at this year’s YNPN National Conference and Leaders Institute, where you’ll hear stories similar to my own and learn about how you can contribute to changing the narrative moving forward.