April Lim, 20’s
I am a Technical Editor at an IT company and a graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Oklahoma State University's Creative Writing Program. I also am a Grant Writer Intern at a women's shelter.
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Chinese (Teochew) Cambodian.
Tell us about your family story.
My parents met in Colorado after fleeing the Cambodian Genocide. They married there and later moved down to Houston, TX, where I was born.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian American, and Chinese (Teochew) Cambodian?
Despite the traumas they have endured from fleeing the genocide, my parents have only ever taught me compassion, kindness, and joy. I find these traits to be my greatest strengths when overcoming the challenges of being a person of color in America.
The challenges and experiences I’ve faced as an American who is both a child of refugees and a person of color have impacted my life both negatively and positively. To live each day as a child of refugees, I must acknowledge the transgenerational trauma I have inherited. To live each day as a person of color in America, I must acknowledge the injustices, macro/micro aggressions, and downright racism that inflicts trauma onto bodies of color. To combat this, I make an effort every day with my actions and words to strive for a supportive, safe environment that POC need in order to unpack individual and collective traumas, allow more compassion in a community environment, and grow from kinship and love.
As an Asian American, I have been hurt by my own country. But also, as an Asian American, I have found belonging and citizenship with my peers and community leaders. Wherever I may end up, my goal will always be to use my strengths to help current and future generations of new Americans by providing them with community, leadership, and guidance.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
In my current position as a Grant Writer Intern at a women's shelter, I was assigned the task of finding grant opportunities to fund vision services for the women and children at the shelter. After finding a lack of vision grants for the Oklahoma area, I began to create a plan to reach out to local eye care businesses instead for a community partnership.
After receiving approval for my project, I started the process of creating a community partnership program with local vision clinics in the area to discuss possible partnerships with the shelter. The overall goal of this partnership was to provide reduced exam costs and/or frame costs for shelter clients in exchange for free advertising, annual reporting of in-kind donations, etc. from the shelter.
I was able to draft and finalize 10 letters asking for in-kind donations from local eye care businesses in the shelter's town and surrounding areas. They were printed and mailed to 10 local businesses that I was able to find during my research. A week later, I later received word that one vision clinic agreed to see our shelter survivors and provide them vision services for no cost at all.
I am especially proud of this accomplishment as I am a dedicated advocate for domestic violence awareness. This project was something I created from scratch and I am proud that I was able to solidify this community partnership program before the summer, so that children at the shelter are able to obtain the proper eyewear/vision services needed before the next school year begins in-person.
This accomplishment reflects my strive for inclusion, equity, and accessibility in the community. During my lifetime, I seek to represent myself through my research and work, and constantly advocate for survivors so that they may begin to nurture a sense of agency once more.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
I appreciate their dedication and hard work in ensuring that our family and traditions survived.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes, but I am not as proficient in Teochew as I'd like to be. I would also like to learn Khmer.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our communities?
Live your life for yourself first before you try to live for others. Selfishness is not a terrible characteristic; it is a necessity for survival. You cannot help others if you cannot survive.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Seeing my friends and loved ones succeed in life.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
Want to share your voice?
To be featured, read the directions and fill out this form. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome.
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