Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and raised in San Jose, California, Thoa graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a dual degree in political economy and social welfare. Thoa engaged in outreach with Working Partnership, a workers’ rights organization in the Bay Area, and served with the Lead the Vote campaign, which registered more than 14,000 new Vietnamese and Latino voters. At UC Berkeley, she was active in the Southeast Asian Student Coalition and coordinated the 2013 Summer Institute, which brought together 36 Southeast Asian high school students from across the United States to learn about the social and historical impacts of the Vietnam War.
Field placement: Good Samaritan Center
Thoa worked to strengthen the Hunger-Free Jackson Coalition by establishing thirty-six new relationships with faith-based organizations, non-profits, and businesses to address hunger and the limited access to healthy food in the Jackson metropolitan area. Thoa organized the first Hunger Free Jackson Conference in Mississippi and used the conference as a platform to educate direct service organizations about the ABAWD SNAP time limit provision and provided them with tools to better serve their clients.
Policy placement: Share Our Strength
Thoa worked with the Programs Team to support the launching of the Cooking Matters Technology Project. She reviewed existing evaluations, developing new tools to measure the impact of the Technology Project, setting up data collection systems and analyzing the data collected. Thoa also created a state-by-state child nutrition policy report to be shared amongst partner organizations.