Soren Tran

Soren Tran_square.jpg

Age: 23

Education: Seattle Central College, Associate of Arts (2016)

SU Major: Nursing


  • Computing Kids, Lead Instructor Dec 2016–Present


  • Dean’s list, Seattle Central College, 2014–2016

  • President’s list, summer, fall 2014


  • Graduate with a BS in Nursing 2019

  • Do some volunteering/retreat in the summer

  • Generally give back to the community with the help of my fellow Alfie Scholars


Civility is more than just respect and being courteous. It’s about being open-minded and keeping a well-rounded perspective on life and others. I believe it begins with the individual and how they perceive themselves. If we can reach a certain transcendence within ourselves, we can then begin influencing other individuals whether we know them personally or not. Civility reflects who we are inside, and as a society, we need to spread this radiance.

I remember riding the bus late at night in the midst of rain season. A child, who couldn’t have been older than 8, waltzed onto the bus drenched and lost. He looked up at the bus driver and said, “Sir, I think I’m lost”. A woman immediately gave him her coat and everyone else rushed by his side. He was bawling his eyes out, and we comforted him. It was mesmerizing to me, that this community of bus-goers came together to help this child. The bus driver reassured him that everything was going to be okay. It was more than civility, it was humanity at its height. I loved everything about that moment, and I think about it every time I lose hope.


I am a passionate computer science teacher, motivated nursing student, and committed to helping people in need. I was born in Vietnam but was raised in South Seattle. As one of two daughters from immigrant parents, I am the first to attend college. Pursuing a fulfilling education was an ongoing challenge because we didn’t have a permanent home. The person I felt most connected to was my deaf sister. Our bond was much stronger when we communicated well through emotion, but even she could not understand the amount of isolation I felt. Anxiety and feelings of oppression were recurring themes for the majority of my adolescence; consistently, I’ve always felt the need to be in control.

High school is usually the time when most teenagers start figuring who they are, however, I couldn’t relate to anything or anyone. Because of this, I could not fathom the thought of being submerged into a culture that I disapproved of. Although I was academically gifted, I had a hard time believing in myself and my future. In fact, I almost failed high school with no plans for the future.

I took a year off after high school to make my mental health a priority. During this time, I took a job with Computing Kids, a start-up which introduces basic computer science to children of ages 8 and up. A year later, I began my studies to earn an Associate of Arts degree at Seattle Central where I took classes that contributed to what I wanted to eventually do - nursing. Having compassion and empathy for others is something that I was never short of. I enjoy the complicated sciences and genuine care that nursing entails.

Even though I have days where every fiber in my being feels triggered by my incompetence, I still go on because I need to sacrifice who I am for who I want to be. As a future nurse, I never want to stop learning. My motivation has served me well, so far, as I have made it into SU’s nursing program and the Alfie cohort. The road to self-discovery has never been so bright, and seeing how far I’ve come makes the struggles worth it.