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11 Questions With Community Leadership Team Member Kevin Truong

The Road Map Project recently announced its first-ever Community Leadership Team, a group that will provide visionary leadership and community accountability for improving education results and closing achievement and opportunity gaps. Over the next few months, you’ll get to learn more about each of the 14 new members through this series.


Kevin Truong is the Executive Director of Hey Mentor, a nonprofit that provides online college and career mentorship. He is the first in his family to graduate from college. Kevin earned a degree in Law, Societies, and Justice and is currently attending the University of Washington for his Master of Public Administration degree.

1. In one sentence, how would you sum up your day-to-day work?
Lead, Learn, and Repeat.

2. What do you want people to know about the community or communities you are a member of?
I’m from High Point, a low-income, public housing community in Seattle. I want people to be more understanding toward youth from my type of community. Growing up, I had more people expecting for me to fail than believing in my success, and I think those type of negative judgments can really shape a student’s outlook on education.

3. Tell us about a time when an educator or educational experience made a big impact on you.
My law professor, Bob, was the most influential educator. He showed me that it was okay to fail and to come from a humble background. Bob was a successful lawyer, real estate agent, lecturer, and family figure. He had all the qualities of the type of role model that I aspire to become.

4. Who’s your favorite social justice advocate, living, dead or fictional?
Arnold from “Hey Arnold!.” I find a lot of wisdom and value in ’90s kids shows. Creative outlets like children’s cartoons can be very influential forms of social justice.

5. If you can make one immediate change to the education system, what would it be?
Free college tuition. Talented and deserving students are too often giving up on their dreams due to the cost of education.

6. What are your hopes for the Community Leadership Team?
My hope is for the Community Leadership Team to bring ideas to life. I want to see how we can enact changes across the board that will actively benefit students.

7. Finish this sentence: Equity is …
…  access to equal opportunities.

8. What was the last thing you read, watched or listened to? Would you recommend it?
The last thing I watched was “Game of Thrones.” Yes, I highly recommend it!

9. Where is your favorite place to go in the Road Map Project region (South Seattle and South King County)?
Growing up in West Seattle, my favorite place to go is the waterfront by using the water taxi. Having lunch at Marination Ma Kai, riding the water taxi to the waterfront, visiting gift shops and walking up to Pike Place Market-a perfect activity for both tourists and locals.

10. What is one of your most cherished family traditions?
My family and I, are huge moviegoers so we go to the movies nearly every single week. After a long week, I love gathering with the family to enjoy a good movie.

11. What inspires you?
Helping young people discover and pursue their dreams is something that fuels my passion for public service. Seeing the excitement in my students’ eyes when they feel empowered is the most rewarding and invigorating feeling that I can never give up.