Thu Quach came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam when she was four years old. From a young age, she was the primary interpreter for her parents, especially for her mother when she was ill and needed to go to the hospital. This led Thu toward a career in the health field and also gave her a passion for helping other immigrants. She is currently the Chief Deputy of Administration, Programs at Asian Health Services (AHS), a community health center in Oakland.
Thu is driven to honor her parents who overcame tremendous hardships as refugees and lift up the blue collar workers and patients she serves. This motivation is evident in the many accomplishments Thu has achieved throughout her career. From helping to start California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative; to her engagement with PIVOT - The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization, Thu has always boldly advocated for the voices of under-served immigrants.
Most recently, Thu helped form the One Nation Coalition, a group working to galvanize the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community around the issue of public charge and to bring awareness to the damage this policy has on immigrant families. One Nation Coalition has mobilized thousands to show up and speak out about the issue of public charge, both locally and in Washington D.C. “We will keep continuing until we shift the narrative that this country is built upon the strength of immigrants rather than being hurt by immigrants coming in,” Thu said.
As a mother of two young boys and the child of immigrants herself, Thu sees great value in cultivating the next generation of leaders. “It really does take the younger generation to push for change. In the work that we do, it has really been driven by the energy of the children of workers to make the change on behalf of their parents. Often it’s a culmination of both the seasoned and young spirits to build this important multi-generational achievement,” Thu said.
Thank you Thu for your advocacy for the API community and inspiring the next generation of leaders.