Ngan's childhood was marked by fear, violence and extreme poverty. She grew up in an immigrant family of five sharing a tiny one-bedroom apartment. For many years, Ngan's father would drink all day and in the evenings beat her and her mother. Ngan's home life was in constant flux as her mother would move the children to live with one relative after another to protect them from harm. Ngan did everything she could to avoid having to go home after school, and immersed herself in JROTC to develop her self-confidence. She dedicated long hours to the ROTC team and to working after school to help support her family. She drew great pride from being the only Asian-American female to hold the rank of battalion commander in the Houston Independent School District. Ngan attends the University of Texas at Austin where she is thriving and pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism.