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Ha Tran

2011 Speaker

Ha Tran

Hope Empowered

When it comes to taking a risk, leaving my comfort zone, and defying convention, I’ve done it all!

I had a privileged life while growing up in Viet Nam. My life changed drastically and suddenly with the crushing fall of Saigon on April 30th, 1975. Overnight, the entire country became paranoid. We were never sure whom we could trust. Imagine! Being suspicious of your closest friends and relatives; anyone could be arrested and tortured at any time. And they were.

On August 29, 1978, my husband, our two young children and I fled Viet Nam in the middle of the night. We had only what we could carry in our hands and on our backs. At that time, we only knew what we were running away from and had no idea what we were running towards.

For many years I lived the life of a fugitive, the life of a war refugee and the life of a wanderer in this great country. The journey from there to here has transformed me into a lioness protecting my cubs. It has transformed me into a “Ninja” warrior who continues to fight for what she believes in. And on that journey as a wanderer and fighter, I also discovered the boldness and the beauty of America and the generosity of its people. These experiences gave me profound insight. Today, I appreciate everything; but, most of all, I appreciate the freedom and the opportunity this country has offered me and my family.

We moved to Massachusetts in 1989. After an extensive research, I learned that schools and colleges in Massachusetts were found on every street corner. I worked two jobs to provide a college education for our children, two boys and two girls, born in this country. I have worked in the corporate world for more than two decades and have helped all our four children graduate college. Today, I have pursued my passion of becoming an inspirational speaker and sharing my father’s philosophy.

Albert Einstein said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” For me, adversity triggered the lessons I learned from my father. Those lessons have always pulled me through the turbulent and darkest of times. My ultimate goal is to share my father’s philosophy with the world. His philosophy is neither new nor revolutionary; but, it is very powerful. It comes from experience and profound respect for all life.