Every CAA Alumni Scholar has a story—and for Anh Phuong Tran ’06, that story brought her full circle. As a recipient of The Leadership Award while studying economics and education as an undergrad at Cal, Anh experienced the support of CAA’s scholarship program firsthand. Now the Director of the Alumni Scholars Program at CAA, Anh is able to share that vital support with a new generation of students. “I remember going to the scholarship dinner as a student, and now, being on the other side and planning one is a great privilege,” Anh says.
As an Alumni Scholar, Anh had the opportunity to gain valuable professional skills that now connect to the work she does at CAA. “I had a mentor who taught me how to develop leadership curriculum, a budget, grant proposals, which completely connects to what I do now,” she says. “I learned how to do that at 19.” Anh has retained the relationships she gained with her mentors to this day. “I’ve been blessed to keep these mentors in my life. They made it comfortable for me to push myself, knowing that I had support.”
“I had one mentor ask me, ‘Why don’t you just ask the chancellor for money?’ I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a brilliant idea!’ I didn’t know how or any of the rules, I just went to his office and knocked on his door to ask for money. We got it!”
“It came to feeling that I didn’t need permission, that I had agency and the support network around me to guide me. In retrospect, I think, gosh, if I knew any better, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I won’t be going down to California Hall anytime soon to knock on Dirks’ door. I already did that at 18.”