We’re excited to share we’ll be continuing U-FLi student highlights into the new academic year! For our first highlight of the semester, we interviewed Agnes Tran (she/her/hers), a sophomore from Covina, CA. Tran is considering Public Policy/Econ or International and Public Affairs as her concentration. She is also a member of IMPULSE Dance Company, Vietnamese Students Association, and a writer for Visions Magazine. She’s also looking to interview UFLi students as her project for the Storytellers for Good Fellowship. Read more below:

How are you? How’s your semester so far?
I’m good. I think it’s been pretty good. Mainly getting into the groove of doing school work after a summer of not reading. This summer, I interned at a multimedia journalism company in Vietnam. About 90% of my time was spent translating articles into English. I can’t read Vietnamese so I spent a lot of time on Google Translate.

Can you tell me a bit about what you’re involved with here at Brown?
On campus, I’m part of IMPULSE Dance Company so I dance a lot with them. I’m also on the academic proposal team for the Southeast Asian Studies Initiative and part of the Vietnamese Students Association. Sometimes I write for Visions Magazine. 

This year, I’m on the board for IMPULSE. I’m the Community Chair. Technically I’m in charge of workshops so I thought I should try to lead some of them. Last Saturday was my first time doing it. It was very scary but probably one of the most memorable things I’ve done at Brown so far.

Why did you audition for IMPULSE?
I saw IMPULSE before ADOCH and I really remember thinking this is the kind of school I want to go to. In auditions, I came in with the mindset that it was a workshop so I wouldn’t be too stressed about it.

I heard you’re also working on a storytelling project. Can you tell me more about it?
Students are able to apply through the Swearer Center with project ideas so mine was talking about first-gen low-income narratives at Brown or other elite institutions. It’s a year long project. You can write, make a podcast, use photography, or video.

I really like writing and I wanted to use storytelling as a venue for social change and policy. I feel like a lot of students at Brown aren’t familiar with FLi narratives so maybe this would help bridge the gap between those two groups.

I’m looking for anyone who’s interested in sharing stories. If anyone has any experiences they’d be comfortable sharing, I’d love to talk them.

What does it mean to you to be UFLi?
I think it means being resilient and resourceful. Being a part of two worlds and knowing how to navigate that. I think a lot of it is remembering who helped you get here, why you’re still here, and the people in your life that have shaped you for the better – and for me it’s family.

Lastly, advice you’d give your freshman year self?
You’re not going to be a neuroscientist – or anything related to STEM. You need to breathe because you still have 3 years to figure things out.