Humans of Khmer America

David Ke

My name is David Ke and I was featured on this page last year for a TEDx talk I did. I just wanted to follow up with my current states. I graduated with my B.A., and I am currently in graduate school at the University of Massachusetts Amherst getting my Master’s in Education (Social Justice Education).

My family came here in 1988, and I grew up in a rough part of Revere, MA. Some people that I’ve met in higher education have a hard time believing that I grew up in the hood. I always ask where their assumptions come from.

As with most individuals raised in under served, under resourced communities I faced the obstacles of poverty. Violence has present, police discrimination, and the institutions set in place did not serve my community of refugees. My father became a drug addict when I was young, and was extremely abusive. My family doesn’t talk about it much.

I went to schools where teachers expected me to be a gangster and treated me with discrimination. I was that kid that was accused of cheating because I got an A, and forced to take a quiz in front of my teacher (where I always did better in somehow). My freshman year of college, my TA accused me of plagiarism because as she put it, “David this essay sounds too scholarly, it doesn’t sound like you.”

What kept me going was the support and love I had from a few,select family members and friends. I would like to encourage everyone who sees this to get involved in community engagement, inside and outside of the home. My wish is that we can create and transform environments, in which underprivileged students can have the proper resources and support to help them grow as the young scholars I know all of us to be.

Alone we struggle. Together we can work as a community, as a family.

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