Dr. Emily Letran Each of us has a unique gift to contribute to society By Nika Jazaee Emily Letran is a general dentist with more than twenty years of experience in her field. She owns two specialty practices in Southern California, US. Emily was only 13 years old when she left Vietnam on a fishing boat with her aunt to pursue a new life in the states. She is today acknowledged as a driven entrepreneur and successful business coach. Read her fascinating story from a refugee to magna cum laude, Masters of Science, UCLA graduate, setting up her own business, and now the author of five books. You were only 13 years old when you arrived in the US as a refugee. What can you tell us about your early years as a refugee in a new country? I was born in Vietnam, a war torn country, at the end of the 1960’s. I came to America as a refugee, one of what they called “the boat people.” I left Vietnam with my aunt on a fishing boat, survived several months in a Malaysian refugee camp, and came to the new country with the main luggage of HOPE and FAITH. When I first came, I spoke very little English, and had never known the true meaning of freedom. During those early days, the goal I had set for myself was very clear: simply to survive. I made choices every day to support that goal. I translated almost every word from English to Vietnamese to better understand the concepts being taught to me in school. I delivered newspapers every morning at 6am to earn money to add to the governmental help we received. I slept on the floor in our two bedroom apartment for several years. There were [...]

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