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Rutgers-Camden Law Grad’s Family History Provided Values that Drive Succeess
CAMDEN — The work ethic and values Abraham Tran carried with him on his journey through Rutgers University, first as an undergraduate in New Brunswick and then as a law student in Camden, were established long before he was born, and on a very different kind of journey.
Tran’s parents were Vietnamese refugees who escaped their country in 1978, only a few years after the end of the Vietnam War. His father, Nguon Tran, had fought for the South Vietnamese army and was sent to a re-education prison camp by the North Vietnamese after the war.
“They tossed anyone who opposed the government, anyone who fought for South Vietnam, into a POW camp,” the younger Tran says. “My father spent some years there, but he was able to escape.”
In fact, Tran’s father captained a small riverboat carrying his family, including Tran’s two older sisters and other refugees, across rough seas before crashing into Malaysia, where they lived in a refugee camp until several American families sponsored them and brought them to New Jersey.
Tran was born in the United States soon before his family gained their U.S. citizenship.
“My parents came here with nothing,” Tran says. “My parents valued education and they worked really hard to get my sisters and me through school in East Brunswick.”
After graduating from East Brunswick High School, Tran earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications from Rutgers–New Brunswick. On May 17, he will graduate from the Rutgers School of Law–Camden.
“One thing that has been so important to my family and me is that you can get to where you want to go with hard work and by a good supporting network of people willing to take you under their wing, like the sponsor family that helped my family,” Tran says.
It’s just one reason why he became involved in various community service activities at Rutgers–Camden, such as the Marshall-Brennan program, which empowers Camden youth to become effective citizens.
“I’ve always liked to teach and one of the ways I wanted to give back was through the school communities here,” Tran says.
The law student hopes to work in health law after he graduates and has gained valuable experience through internships with several local law firms.
“We were always taught to work hard, but to also do noble things and to give back,” Tran says. “My parents always wanted me to do something with my career that allowed me to be involved with my community and that’s one reason I chose to pursue a law career.”
Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse