HOUSTON – We’re continuing our celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a candid conversation about the AAPI business community in Houston. Thomas Nguyen, CBRE Brand Advisor and Associate, helped us navigate this important and timely topic. When asked about the increase in hate towards AAPI communities, Nguyen mentions how saddened he is by it.
“It’s heartbreaking to see what’s going around in the country,” said Nguyen. “We’re all blessed that we live in this great city of Houston. I think we’ve been insulated a little bit because Houston is so diverse.”
Nguyen’s family immigrated to the U.S. while his mother was pregnant with him, making Nguyen the first natural born U.S. citizen in his family. Nguyen and his family moved to Katy, Texas when he was three years old, and have had very positive experiences throughout their time here, making it difficult to fathom all the negative sentiment towards the AAPI community.
“My parents still can’t grasp what’s happening. They immigrated here from Vietnam after the war, and they’ve always looked at this country, and it still is, as a land of opportunity and a wonderful place to live,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen attended the Mayde Creek school system, and looks back fondly on that time, despite being one of the only Asians in school. He later went on to attend the University of Texas, where he helped found the largest Asian interest fraternity in Texas, Omega Phi Gamma, a group geared towards help not only Asians but all races feel welcome.
“I think part of it, we have a responsibility to not only kind of contribute to the community that we live in, but also help our brothers and sisters along the way that need help,” said Nguyen.