Confucius stated over 2000 years ago, "Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” The Khmer Parent Association was founded for this sole purpose: To breed confidence, hope and peace in the minds of youth who were the children of Cambodian Genocide survivors whose life, language & culture and social structure were almost destroyed and eliminated. This led them to believe higher education was not for them.
Everyone involved in breaking the ground to found KPA in 1995 strongly believed that the only way to rebuild tomorrow’s leaders out of today’s Khmer youth was through inspiring them to pursue higher education. Like Napoleon Hill stated, “Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
Twenty five years ago, it was an extreme struggle to find the right facility to accommodate us to provide services to the 40-50 youth each week who came for help with tutoring and homework assistance or a place to volunteer for community service. We had no resources or help besides our own personal donations. All devoted volunteers worked very hard to rebuild and bridge the achievement gap through a tutoring-after-school program, academic enrichment, educational field trips, leadership development training, community volunteer services, mentoring, internships, annual scholarships and parental involvement education.
This year, KPA reached the 25 year milestone of service to youth and the community in Long Beach. As a parent association, KPA envisions a strong and healthy Khmer Community in Long Beach with cultural pride and a great sense of ethnic identity. Therefore, we give our devotion, commitment, energy, and special attention to the parents and children to be healthy, loved, cared for with the support they need to be ready to learn and to achieve their full potential in school.
Helen Keller said that “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” Her precious statement applies to KPA because every year since 1995, we have had a village of sponsors, donors and supporters who lend their hands in different task to make the annual SEA Scholarship and Graduation Celebration possible for the high school students and their siblings. The true testament to this was the overwhelming success of the class of 2019 on Sat., June 1st when the whole village of sponsors, donors, supporters and volunteers came from near and far to jointly support this great cause: the success of our young Southeast Asian high school students, community college grads., college grads., and Master’s Degree grads. The room was filled with almost 250 people in attendance with love, caring, joy and warmth between fellow scholarship recipients, high school graduates, siblings, parents, dignitaries and community leaders who came together as one community to congratulate and support our young scholars and future leaders. Your generous support gave the youth from different ethnic backgrounds, such as Hispanic-Americans, Cambodian-Americans, Lao and Vietnamese-Americans a chance to make their American Dream possible.
To highlight the importance of the Khmer Language, this year, we had students do the Pledge of Allegiance in English and Khmer. A Class of 2019 scholarship recipient delivered a speech in English and Khmer and another read a poem she wrote in Khmer. It is very rewarding to see that the young people realized that keeping their native language alive is mandatory because when they lose their native language, they will lose their identity.
The dignitaries in attendance were Soben Pin, Co-Founder & Publisher of KhmerPost USA Newspaper, Diana Morales, Field Representative of Speaker Anthony Rendon, 63rd Assembly District, Vivian Malauulu, LBCCC Board of Trustees, Dr, Felton Williams, LBUSD Board Member, LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, Dr. Leslie Young, Pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente. Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, 6th Council District, former Jack Rabbit and Alumnus of Polytechnic High school and LBCC 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee, delivered special remarks about the importance of education that would transform their young lives in the future.
The educational event wrapped up with a free raffle with great door prizes from many donors for all attendees to end the long day with joy and happiness. My deep, heartfelt gratitude to all scholarship donors and major sponsors who generously invested in the future of our youth.
Special thanks to Nguyen Lawyers, ALC who matched the scholarship donations 3 years in a row.
KPA, Executive Director
Charles Song Khmer Parents It's my honor to have been working with you all these years, Bong. We have come along way since the day you started, and to see how much the KPA has grown is quite extraordinary. Thanks to your visionaries of leading in education for this much needed community, Bong. May Buddha continues to bless and grant you many more years of success.
I was over the moon to speak at the Southeast Asian Scholarship event in Long Beach last week. Thank you Ming Chan at Khmer Parents for this amazing opportunity! It was very well attended by parents, students, local and state legislators, and school district officials. Speaking to kids is my passion! (As you can tell in the picture!) They were gorgeously adorable.
I was thrilled to meet many community leaders as well. Great event! Thank you Ming Chan again! I'm humbly honored.
Had a fantastic opportunity to Co-MC with Dr. Christina Lee for the Khmer Parent Association 25th Annual Southeast Asian Student Scholarship Awards yesterday.
A big congratulations to the ED of KPA, Madame Chan Hopson, Mr. Mark Hopson, and their Board of Directors for their milestone achievement.
Wishing those students who received Scholarships a successful journey knowing they all have a mountain to climb. Congratulations.
A special thanks to all sponsors including:
- Minh T. Nguyen, Nguyen Lawyers, ALC
- Port of Long Beach
- Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, 6th District
Special thanks to the following special guest speakers who were so kind to spare their valuable time to be with us:
1. Vice Mayor Dee Andrews, 6th District
2. Mario Cordero, ED Port of Long Beach
3. Chris Steinhauser, Superintendent of LBUSD
4. Dr. Felton Williams, Board member of LBUSD
5. Vivian Malauulu, VP LBCC Board of Trusteer
6. Megan M. Kerr, Board member of LBUSD
7. Dr. Leslie Young
8. Venerable Jared Kai
9. Soben Pin, Co-Founder & Publisher KhmerPost USA
Special thanks to Bong Sam Keo and others for their translation services, our Boy Scout team, Sergeant Major Wright and his ROTC Cadets and others for volunteering at the event, many community leaders, and many parents and guests for coming out to celebrate this wonderful event with us.
Leadership Development Training, June 22, 2019. The recipients discussed the speeches they heard during the Scholarship Award & Graduation Celebration. They especially enjoyed talking about the keynote speech by Mario Cordero, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach.
The recipients divided into groups to discuss and study the different speeches delivered on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the Class of 2019 Southeast Asian Scholarship Award & Graduation Celebration.
Each group presented their findings to the whole class.
They formed networks and built relationships during the training, and they will reconnect with each other during their college years.
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