April 30, 1975. The fall of Saigon. Bombs were dropping on an airstrip where a U.S. transport plane waited. A very young Thao Ha, her mother, and her father (a pilot in the South Vietnamese air force) ran to the plane, climbed inside, and flew to a new life in America.
By 1979, the family was living in Houston. In the late 1990s, Thao was ready to drop out of college; she was drifting. Caught in the cross-fire of a gang fight, she was shot in the elbow. The bullet changed her life.
She set a new direction for herself. She established goals and worked to achieve them. First, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology; then a master’s; then a Ph.D.
Today, Dr. Thao Ha is a tenured professor of sociology and department chair at MiraCosta College. She’s a writer and a film producer. And she has a wonderful jewelry company, Thao Ha Jewelry, which uses some of its profits to fund scholarships for needy college students.
Thao Ha, my friend, personifies a life of riches. We can all learn a lot from her.