Mary Nguyen (MSW, MPP) is a Vietnamese American first-gen graduate and a daughter of refugees. She completed her dual degree at UCLA and her bachelor’s in human services at CSUF, with a minor in gerontology. Mary contributed to AAPI research through digital mediums, academic research, and publications. She believes in community-building and engagement and has exemplified that through student-led organizations at UCLA, such as the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus and the Public Policy Leadership Association (PPLA), where she held leadership positions.
Mary organized collaborative events with her peers and organizations of color on campus, such as the “Community Walk-and-Talk” tour that highlights and educates the historical moments of activism led by students and professors. Currently, she works as the Policy and Research Manager for CA Healthy Nail Salons Collaborative in fighting for fair wages and better and safer working conditions for the Vietnamese community, to improve their quality of life. Outside of work, Mary works on her passion project of collecting narratives from Southeast Asians for the ‘Before the Light Dims’ project from Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Lao refugees.