Tjoan Tan

Counselor for the Deaf/Blind
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
2001 Recipient


When Tjoan Tan arrived in America from Indonesia, he attended Gallaudet University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Social Work. He later earned a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at Boston University. His education was important to him because it qualified him to work with deaf-blind people - a job that he loves. Tan is proud to be able to provide the same opportunities for his daughter, Lien.


When Tan lived in Indonesia, his family was very poor, so his challenge was to figure out how to get a good education and have a successful career. Another challenge was to learn new languages. His first language was Dutch, then Indonesian. When he moved to America, he learned English and American Sign Language.

Advice to Horace Mann Students

"Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do anything. Be willing to learn from your parents, your teachers, and from your own experiences. Work hard, be motivated, use all of your abilities, and be patient. It does not matter how long it takes you to be successful - take your time."

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