Sandy Luu: Be the Person You Can Be

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The child of parents who fled Vietnam during the war, Sandy Luu, '16, feels called to advocate for children's healthcare and education.

Sandy Luu, '16Sandy Luu has a motto. “I try to give my best in everything I do whether it's my education or my career," she said. Luu’s philosophy appears to be working. The 25-year-old graduates this year from UW Tacoma with a degree in healthcare leadership.

The first-generation college student attributes her determination to her parents. Luu’s mother and father fled Vietnam at separate times (they met in the US) during the war. They eventually settled in Tacoma and raised three children—Sandy is the oldest. “I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to go to college because my parents weren’t able to,” she said.

Luu went to high school locally at Curtis in University Place. She attended Western Washington University before transferring to Tacoma Community College. Her long-term goal includes graduate school. “I’m trying to figure out if I want to go into the clinical side or the administrative side of healthcare,” Luu said.

Luu minored in education and would like to work with children. “I feel that children face a lot of problems that they have no control over,” she said. “I want to advocate for children to make sure they receive the healthcare and the education they need.”

This summer Luu will study abroad in Vienna, Austria. She’s also attending a summer institute for biostatistics and bioinformatics at UW Tacoma. “I’m passionate about learning,” she said. Luu has two younger brothers. Her commitment to education is about more than self-improvement. “I don’t just worry about myself, I worry about my whole family,” she said.

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / June 6, 2016
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 256-692-4536 or