Trinh Nguyen’s childhood was shaped by her experience of emigrating as a 4-year-old from Vietnam to Richmond, Virginia, and the poverty that marked her family’s start in the United States.
When Trinh attended elementary school, after classes ended, she would walk to the nearby mall where her father worked at the food court. While he wiped down tables, she would do her homework. Years later, in high school, mentors and a scholarship from Junior Achievement helped change the course of Trinh’s life, arming her with a strong sense of direction and a financial boost to attend Texas A&M University. Today, Trinh, an Information Technology Analyst in AIG’s Houston office, continues that tradition by volunteering with children through the Junior Achievement non-profit group.
“The Junior Achievement volunteers told us what they did for a living and I looked up to them,” Trinh recalled. “I came from a poor family and these people were well-dressed, smart and motivating.”
She credits the group’s volunteers and her hard-working father for transforming her into a goal-oriented, driven team player.
In 2019, AIG is partnering with Junior Achievement in 22 markets. The organization prepares young people to succeed in a global economy with programs on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy for students in kindergarten through high school.
Most recently, Trinh, a mother of two boys, led a team of elementary school children in selling books at a mock Kroger supermarket, covering all aspects from designing a budget to paying employees. Volunteers at Junior Achievement’s day-long BizTown events also teach students how to operate banks, manage restaurants, and vote for mayor.
“I told them all about how I grew up,” Trinh said. “It brought up so many memories. They looked up to me the way I did with my mentors when I was young.”
Trinh used a day of her Volunteer Time Off to attend the event. The AIG benefit allows employees to set aside two days each year for volunteer activities.
She plans to volunteer again to teach older children about financial literacy. “I want to be able to help other kids like my mentors helped me,” Trinh said.
This project is supported by AIG’s volunteer programme.Find out more