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Year Up Alumni Community Reflection: Thai Nguyen

Introducing Thai Nguyen: a community leader and a proud Year Up graduate from Tampa Bay. Thai has not only found success in the professional realm at JPMorgan Chase, but he has also leveraged his alumni status to make meaningful contributions through the Year Up community and beyond. Since completing the Year Up program, Thai has been a peer mentor, a volunteer, and he’s also become a homeowner — emphasizing the profound positive impact, not only on his own life but also on the lives of others. His advice to future Year Up students? Thai advocates for investing in one's future, and in experiences that pave the way to a brighter and more successful tomorrow. 


Hi Thai! Thanks for joining us. Can you share what the Year Up community means to you?

“The Year Up community to me, is both a family and a resource.” Between active military service and working at his father’s furniture store, Thai was juggling an already full schedule when he started at Year Up. What helped him through were the connections— the friendships he formed and the support he received throughout the program. As a Year Up alumnus, Thai continues to stay connected with fellow alumni across the country to share advice, support, and camaraderie.

How do you give back to your community since leaving the Year Up program?

Thai is a champion when it comes to lifting as he climbs, a Year Up alumni ethos. In addition to his work at JPMorgan Chase in Operation Assurance, Thai also stays busy by giving back to his community. Each year, Year Up empowers alumni to serve their communities through applying to the ACTion grant initiative. In Thai’s case, he saw an opportunity to support the Fort Meyers, Florida community following Hurricane Ian, and successfully applied for the grant to provide supplies. This work in his community won him the 2023 Gross Family Service Award at the 12th Annual National Alumni Summit. Thai also gives back to his community by being a peer mentor for young adults with disabilities and volunteering with veterans.

Apart from yourself, who has been the most impacted by your time at Year Up?


In addition to the families he supported after Hurricane Ian, Thai adds that his own family has been positively impacted by his time at Year Up. A personal milestone that he’s incredibly proud of is purchasing a house that his family is able to live in. “Being able to get a good job at a good company, and to be able to afford a house in this day and age isn’t easy. Being able to have a good roof over their heads where they don’t have to worry about putting their money toward rent feels pretty amazing.”

What is one piece of advice you could share for someone who is interested in starting the Year Up program?


“Always take the time to invest in yourself.” While not everyone’s path looks the same, Thai notes that investing in yourself and taking that first step toward your future is the best way forward.

What’s next for Thai? He plans to continue investing in himself by growing his career at JPMorgan Chase, for one. Thai also hopes to use his own learnings and resources to build up others and give back to the community he calls home.