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Age 18, Long Beach

I came to the US as an immigrant at 7 years old and was raised by a single mother in Long Beach. When we were new to this country, we faced language barriers. Not being able to read English was hard. Since we couldn’t read the signs on the bus, we would walk to get to places instead. Both my mom and I have come a long way. I’m in high school AP classes, and there is a lot of pressure with college prep programs. This isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes I don’t feel ready.

My freshman year, my friends recruited me to join Khmer Girls in Action. KGA is my second home – I’ve met new friends that I can call sisters and brothers because they understand the hardships that the Cambodian community faces. They gave me the confidence I need to succeed, because everyone deserves an opportunity to live their dreams no matter where they come from.

I’m currently in the process of applying to college and KGA has been supporting me and my peers who will be the first in our family to go to college. I hope to go to CSULB because it’s close to home and works best for me financially. I hope to get a part time job to help pay for college so I can become a pediatrician. I love kids and I want to help them. I want to live a healthy and balanced life with a stable career and a happy family.

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