Ocean Le vividly remembers a day when, as a 10-year-old living in Hawai’i, a family friend was moved into section 8 housing—an apartment subsidized by the US government for low-income individuals or families. The friend was from Vietnam, and unable to understand anything her new landlord was saying to her in English. Le was asked to step in and serve as her translator and advocate.
It wasn’t until he was older that he realized the gravity of what that day meant: there were aging adults all over the country for whom resources were inaccessible due to language or other cultural barriers. Assisting them could be a life’s work.
Le is now 25 and is the program coordinator at the Diverse Elders Coalition. Like many Gen Zers, he’s not sure what his exact career path will look like. But like his peers, he wants his job to be about more than a paycheck; he wants to work in a field that serves others.