Cleveland Field Office
I was in middle school when I first heard about the FBI, and I was instantly intrigued. But I am a first generation American, and my parents had negative associations with the government and law enforcement because of their early experiences in Vietnam. My upbringing also encouraged girls and women to be more timid and submissive, so telling my parents about my career choice was difficult at first.
I first entered law enforcement as a rookie officer with the Northglenn Police Department in Colorado. I found during my time as a police officer that I needed more life experience and leadership skills so I also joined the Navy Reserves. I graduated from the FBI Academy in 2019 and now support the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Cleveland. I speak Chinese and Vietnamese, which is often helpful in my work.
What drew you to the FBI?
The opportunities and resources that the FBI has to offer are not available anywhere else. It is amazing to see first hand what happens when the FBI comes together to serve the country. From the events of 9/11 to the Nashville bombing response to the rescue of Hannah Anderson, it is a remarkable organization, made up of exceptional individuals.
Photo courtesy of Shane Gearhart, Ohio Tactical Officers Association.
What is the best career or life advice you have to give?
During my time in the police department, my mentor wisely told me: “[Fill in the blank] is like dust, dishes, and laundry. It’ll always be there. Sometimes you have to let it go.” That “blank” could be fear, anxiety, or whatever limitations you may have. Since they probably aren’t going away on their own, push through.
Who made a difference in your career? How?
Early in my career I worked with “Louie,” who was at the end of a 37-year career with his department and as an FBI task force officer. He always answered late phone calls to help his squad mates on a case. He was patient in helping newcomers learn the details of the work, and he inspired me to always pursue the right answer—even if it was not the one I wanted. He was a detective—to his very last day on the job. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. If you needed something, Louie had someone he could call. I saw the dedication to work, his commitment to family, and how he upheld the highest values of being a law enforcement officer and investigator for the FBI. I still try to follow the example he set.