Loan Tran, Human Rights Advocate/Student

Loan described herself as a person that used to take a seat in the midst of chaos… until 2009, when she met a group of people that changed her opinion on taking that passive seat.

“No one person is just a person. We carry around backpacks that identify us, that we care about, and that form our claim to the world.”

Loan urges all people to act when they care about something. Action breeds connection, and that connection is what forms relationships within our society.

Loan admits that she’s been pretty angry, and generally stays pretty angry. In the midst of that anger she’s rejoiced within her successes, her learnings and her community.

“There’s no such thing as living for yourself.”

One of Loan’s favorite memories relates to what the media termed the ‘suicide pandemic’, and while the cause of her favorite memory isn’t pleasant, the opportunity to speak at a vigil hosted by a group that works with LGBT teens about bullying has become a cherished memory in her life. She went in with the goal of inspiring and empowering others, but came away overwhelmed by the sheer gratitude of the crowd she spoke to.

“Go out there and do something, and do it from your heart.”