Tiffany Nguyen, a second year student at Foothill College, is a student leader active in addressing issues of student's basic needs and Asian American communities. She has advocated for an increase of mental health resources, affordable student housing, and raising student employees’ minimum wage. She established the Mental Health Task Force, which connected Foothill College students with Psychological Services in order to improve communication, outreach, and advocacy efforts. Serving as the Student Trustee, she organized for community college student housing with the Foothill-De Anza Housing Coalition and student employees’ minimum wage with the districts’ international student population.The last two years she has worked closely with grassroots efforts to advocate for the rights of Asian American communities, including efforts to support members of the Southeast Asian community facing deportation as well as increasing opportunities for low-income high school students to access higher education, specifically focusing on East Side San Jose students. She is currently a program coordinator at Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute to train Asian American youth and adult organizers to become intersectional, community leaders. Independently, she found a media organization named Yello USA, a collaborative of youth voices, in order to provide an outlet for Asian American contemporary issues.
Raised in a family of Vietnam War refugees, I experienced the inaccessibility of basic needs due to systemic barriers. Without health insurance and language proficiency to understand policy that affected my community, I started advocating for my own resources as a high school student such as mental health counseling and English literacy classes. As I got older and became more involved in organizing around issues that stem from poverty, I came to understand how policy disproportionately affects the basic needs of individuals who do not have the capacity to advocate for their own rights. First-handedly experiencing the barriers community college students face in order to continue their education, I became active organizing on campus for these issues. On campus, I serve as a Student Trustee and advocated for district policy change regarding creating affordable student housing and raising student minimum wage. In an effort to improve my campus’ mental health climate as well as connect student and college outreach efforts, I established the Mental Health Task Force. As I continue my journey of education, I will continue utilizing my insight to create solutions and opportunities for those who do not have a voice.