Marina Por, Teens
Current Role: Full-Time Student
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Half Chinese, half Cambodian.
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
Both of my parents are immigrants. My dad came to Washington during the Khmer Rouge when he was a child and my mom came in her late teens. I was born in Tacoma, Washington.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
It's definitely hard to listen to stereotypes and experience racism as an Asian American. When I would do well in school, it wouldn't be because of my own intelligence, it would be due to the fact that I am Asian (I was told this in middle school). BUT I have never once hated my culture or where I came from. If anything, it has helped me grow and become the person I am today. I am proud of my roots and THAT is what gives me strength.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Graduating in double honors TWICE as a high school student and being a college student at the same time. I received my HS diploma the same time (more like a 3 day difference) that I got my Associates Degree. I was in the National Honor Society in high school and the International Honor Society for college.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
I've picked up a lot of good habits, in terms of time management and organization. For most of my childhood, I would always go to the temple and I didn't start to love going until my later teen years. I appreciate the elders’ and monks’ advice, as well as the spiritual experience I would have every time I walked in and prayed.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes, I do! English is my second language. I grew up speaking Khmer and I'm proud to speak it! I've had the opportunity to speak it last year during my trip to Cambodia and it felt amazing to get in touch with my roots.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Focus on yourself first. I understand that there must be a lot of priorities that you think should come first, but mental health should be a first concern. It's hard not to get immersed in certain activities, but take time for yourself. Your future you will thank you.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
I love it when my family and friends are happy. It makes me so happy that they're happy doing what they want. I do have side hobbies but nothing makes me happier than the happiness of my biggest supporters.
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!
Charles Calvino Hang
Danielle Bopha Khleang
Emma S. Buchanan
Firda Amalia Herryanddhy
Grace Bora Kim
Justin Cardona (JCool)
Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon
Krystal M. Chuon
Lina (Spring Roll Fever)
Mei Mei Long
Melissa Khoeum Barnett
Note K. Suwanchote
Sam "Smushipig" Javier
Samrach Sar, Esq.
ចាប សាត Sath Chap
Sotheara Jeffrey Lim