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Tim Totten 
TEDx Eustis Organizer

Edna Valentina-
TEDx Speaker, Mindset Coach

My Story

When I was a young girl in Vietnam, my biggest fear was speaking to my dad. Yes, I was so fearful of my own father. I did not dare to speak up unless it was an absolute necessity. 

It wasn't because my dad was a terrible person, but because we never knew when his temper would flare up. Either from the stress externally in his adult world or from trouble at home that we kids were not aware of. I avoided being in the same space with dad to stay out of trouble. It was a ridiculous fear. As a result, I  missed out on so many father/daughter chances to connect. 


Deep down inside, I yearned for his approval and did everything that I thought would make him proud and happy. I spoke when I was spoken to, did what I was told, and stayed inside the box to make life easier for everyone in the family. I simply settled! 

That feeling manifested in my adult life. I felt intimidated by men, especially middle-aged men in authority. I did not understand why I was always trembling in fear when I needed to talk to them. I even had to do the Wonder Woman pose when I wanted to talk to my giant teddy bear bosses.


Do you have a ridiculous fear in life and not know what is the root cause?


When I blew out the candles on my 50th birthday, it hit me that I was now the same age as my father when he unexpectedly passed over three decades before. I realized I was dying to confront my fear of speaking up. I desperately needed to tell Dad how much I admired and loved him despite the fear that had kept us apart. 


As you can guess, I became a TEDx speaker and then shared my story in my memoir, I Did Not Miss the Boat - Memoir of a Vietnam Hoa Refugee. My hope is to encourage others to break their silence and share their stories.



The greatest fear is hiding your wounds and not facing them. They will hold you back from advancing your life. 


Finding the origin of my fear helped me establish the path of healing and allowed me to be free to live my authentic self. I now speak to inspire my audience to step out of their comfort zone, improve their relationships, reach for the career they love, or be brave and speak up to deal with their hidden issues.


It is through this journey that I found healing and peace. I also found a deep appreciation for my dad and for what he had done for us.


Don't let fear steer your ship. Be the captain of your soul!

Be brave. Free your story today! 

Lea Tran is an ethnic Chinese, former "Boat person" refugee from Vietnam. A Villanova University graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, a female scientist, turned successful entrepreneur and business owner in the Greater Philadelphia Region, which she called home for thirty-five years before residing in Florida.

Extracting from her multi-faceted cultural and life experiences, Lea motivates her audience to bridge the gaps of cultural differences, to take action to break the mold of generational suffering, and to create their own opportunity to speak their voice, live their truth.

"May you never miss the boat of happiness in your life! Be brave, jump off the sinking ship, and let go of  your story!"

Praises from People who worked with Lea

As part of my job, I am always looking for resources for our Diversity & Inclusion programs.

Ms. Tran’s presentation was such an inspiration to many of us. Her presentation inspired some of my audience to share their life journey for the first time and even seek mentorship to write their story.  Without a doubt, I will love to have her again, not only for AAPI month but for many other events and workshops.

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As a speaker, Lea Tran inspires you through her journey from harrowing to heroine. As a coach, she takes you on your own hero journey so you can learn to overcome your circumstances whatever they may be with grace and courage. And become not a mere survivor but a thriver! I'm so grateful for Lea's "boat people" journey so she can be a beacon of light in other people's lives and guide them safely on the shore of success and freedom!

Laure Carter

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Lea is a top-notch professional with one of the most vibrant personalities I've ever seen. She's not only great at what she does, but she is also a sensational networker. Her leadership qualities are amongst the many reasons we invited Lea to be on our board of advisors.

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