Current Role: Consultant
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Tell us about your family story.
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. My parents were both born in Cambodia. My family arrived to the U.S in 1985 through a sponsored Christian group. Growing up, my parents both went to school and worked full-time while raising a family.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Cambodian/Khmer-American?
For me, I think the Cambodian-American community is beginning to grow in terms of social and educational resources. In comparisons to other communities, I think there are a lot of commonalities. One big strength I admire about the Cambodian-American community is the strong sense in cultural preservation.
One challenge I think we face is sharing our individual stories and being visible to those around us. Through trauma and experience, I think when we share those, we learn from them.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
One of my proudest accomplishments was starting the Khmer Student Association at the Ohio State University. One thing that I envision on a larger scale, is seeing Khmer-Americans rise and succeed through a purpose we all share. Seeing Khmer-Americans come together and collaborating with one another fills me with hope.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
My motto in life is to always have “Grit & Gratitude." Growing up, I learned that through hard work, you can achieve all your aspirations. Through the practice of gratitude, you will learn the true meaning of happiness.
As a child, I didn’t understand my placement in this world and shuffled around not really feeling like I belonged. However, through self-exploitation and through the practice of manifestation, I found that from within.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Occasionally - both my parents work in corporate positions and tend to speak more English than Khmer. But occasionally, we do speak more Khmer.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our communities?
One piece of advice that I have for the younger generation is to live the life as a lifelong learner and to be bold about their aspirations. Seize everyday as your opportunity to make an imprint of yourself to you and for those around you.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
My greatest joy in life is spending quality time with my loved ones.
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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