"The bandits said they would kill them if a large ransom wasn't paid," the Big Brother host recounted after explaining that her grandfather worked his way up to become the most successful businessman in his native Burma, and was therefore targeted for his money.
Chen's grandfather decided to pay the ransom amount, entrusting her uncle with the funds. Unfortunately, the uncle "double-crossed" Chen’s grandfather and "disappeared into the night with the money."
Her great-grandmother was killed as a result, but the harrowing experience inspired Chen's grandfather to do something for his community.
"He built a school, hoping that people don't feel like they have to live a life of crime," Chen told her co-hosts. "He said if everyone was afforded an education then they have the tools to learn how to survive on their own."
"After talking to everybody I really felt the sense of gratitude, because everyone told me this school has completely turned this neighborhood around," she continued. "What my grandfather did essentially worked."