How one woman is helping inspire students at Schoolcraft College

‘There are gaps and disparities for certain populations,’ Van Nguyen says

LIVONIA, Mich. – For years Van Nguyen would drive up and down Haggerty Road and see Schoolcraft College and not think twice about it. Little did she know that she would eventually work there and make a difference in so many lives.

“As a first generation Vietnamese American, as well as a first generation college student on both sides of my family. I know that there are gaps and disparities for certain populations,” Nguyen said.

Gaps that Nguyen is working to eliminate with her role as the chief marketing and communications officer at Schoolcraft College.

“Schoolcraft has taken, you know, these small steps on increasing Wi-Fi access in our parking lots and for those who don’t have laptops, we were able to form a partnership with some of our community partners and form a grant so that we can purchase laptops to loan,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen also said she realizes that a four-year university isn’t for everyone. She herself took some college courses, left for the real world, then came back. That’s the message she hopes to spread to prospective students.

“Colleges, not always people’s first choices coming out of high school or even later in life. And I think that Schoolcraft is there for you when you’re ready,” Nguyen said.

It was always her dream to have an executive position and she was eager to defy the odds to get what she wanted.

“If you look at the stats in general in the nation -- When it comes to Asian American females rising to the C Suite. It is in the single digital And it hasn’t grown in the last 10 to 15 years,” Nguyen said.

She hopes to use her role as an inspiration to students, specifically women of color, that Schoolcraft College can be a great way to make their dreams come true.

“To see other first generation students walk through our door here at school. And we have a lot of them. I really just want to showcase to our students that, ‘Hey. If I can do it. You can do it,’” Nguyen said.

READ: More Women’s History Month coverage

About the Authors: