Giving Back to the Community - An HSNT Board Member Spotlight
Coming to America as an immigrant is a classic story of hope as old as the country itself, and it’s one that HSNT board Vice President Trang Dang-Le lived through herself many years ago. As a young girl, she immigrated to the United States in the early 1980s as a refugee with her father, settling into the chilly mountain town of Cody in northwestern Wyoming. After staying there for a few years, Trang’s father decided to move them across the country to Kentucky, where he had some friends that he was close to.
“We actually took a Greyhound bus, if I remember,” Trang says. “It was not a very comfortable ride!
Trang stayed in Kentucky with her father, navigating the American school system and making friends of her own, before leaving for the University of Cincinnati and getting her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“I first came to Texas in 1995, with my husband,” Trang says. “When I came to Dallas I didn’t work, because I had to stay home with the kids. When my youngest daughter was in 5th grade, I decided to help with income by getting into real estate. And that’s how I started in the workforce.”
Trang thought that real estate would be a good career for her as a mom – she loved seeing new houses and she believed the hours could be flexible. It turned out instead to be a lot of hard work, but Trang faced the challenge head on.
Then, one December, Trang discovered Health Services of North Texas.
“One of my friends invited me to a World AIDS Day event. Every December we honor those who have passed away and raise awareness, and I was sitting next to somebody who was talking about HSNT, and that one year HSNT was involved with the event. I wanted to learn more, so when I went to visit I met with [Development Director] Larry Bisno and he told me what HSNT does for the community. I was very intrigued, and I wanted to help.”
HSNT’s mission struck a chord with Trang. As an immigrant, Trang didn’t have health insurance growing up, and she never went to a doctor if she got sick. Hearing about HSNT and how the organization helps people who need a hand up inspired her to get involved.
“I wanted to help in any way I can because I know what it’s like when you can’t afford healthcare…. I’ve always been very passionate about helping our community, because being where we are now and having the opportunity in the U.S., I’m grateful, and that’s my way of giving back. I’m able to help deliver the message that [North Texas does] have quality, affordable healthcare in the community.”