In 1988, at the young age of 10, Yen and her sister escaped from Vietnam. Yen was adopted by Bethany Christian Services after spending two long years in a refugee camp in Malaysia. After relocating to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Yen spent the next eight years in foster care. Looking for help with finding a job, Yen began working with Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids. Over the years, she has been involved with multiple training programs. With the help of her career coaches, Yen obtained employment at various retail stores. Also, during this time, her passion for learning and helping others led her to earn certificates in peer mentoring, suicide intervention and sexual education.

When the COVID pandemic started, Yen was laid off from her position as a cashier for a local retailer. She came to Goodwill and was hired at the Goodwill store in Cascade. Employed for just over a year, her favorite part of the job is learning new things and meeting people.

Now at 42 years old, Yen is getting ready to apply to Grand Rapids Community College for her associates degree. Her goal is to move on to a four-year college and obtain a degree in social work. Yen stated “I love to help people. So many people have helped me, and I want to do the same for others.” Yen is eligible for education reimbursement and paid study time as a benefit of her position at Goodwill. There is no doubt that Yen’s career journey will continue to grow and thrive with her resilience, passion for learning and desire to help others.