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Meet Our Scholars

scholars - art

Teresa Nguyen

Portland Community College

Mechanical Engineering

They/Them

Community College

Coach Foundation Dream it Real Scholarship

Teresa Nguyen was born and raised in Oregon and is currently living in Portland. They are second generation Vietnamese-American and grew up in diaspora with their immigrant family who came to the United States after The Fall of Saigon. Growing up bi-cultural and mixed race had impacted how they viewed the world around them, and being raised to adopt cis-heterosexual normatives affected their decision to avoid coming out as queer until they were eighteen. This catalyst inspired Teresa to become radicalized around LGBTQPIA+ rights, working class rights, anti-blackness trainings in Asian American communities, and queer youth advocacy. Their lived experience with ethnic and gender diaspora prompted them to examine their relationship to food, femme as non-binary, and storytelling through multimedia platforms. Using art to connect to self and their QTBIPOC community informed how they created relationships with their close chosen family, stemming from the cultural impact of their given family. Their creative evolution led to sculpture, metalwork, and welding. This phase of their life connected them to a working artist who is both an engineer and welder, which then inspired Teresa to reach even further and become an engineer themself. They are pursuing a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at Portland State University, and will pursue a master’s in Mechanical Engineering specializing in robotics. They are passionate about science communication, creating access into STEM through unconventional learning environments, and hope to become an astronaut one day and have a role in supporting the Artemis missions.

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