How would you summarize your experience after winning the first annual pageant?
The pageant was an amazing once in a lifetime experience! It is such an honor to be the first ever Miss Cambodia of Georgia. It’s a title that I will hold with sincere importance for the rest of my life. I have learned so much more about my Cambodian heritage and culture and it’s something I will be forever grateful. I am so proud to be Cambodian and to be able to represent my country. Thank you to everyone that has supported me along the journey, especially my family.
What did you learn about yourself and the community that you didn’t know through your experience in volunteering?
Throughout my one year term, I have met so many people and have participated in several volunteering roles with the Cambodian American Association of Georgia (CAAG) and Cambodian Buddhist Society (CBS). Personally, the organizations have helped me grow as a young leader and given me insight on the development and issues facing the Cambodian community. I learned that despite our population being widely disperse, our community will unify to support each other like family. I also learned that success might bring unhealthy competition. We should come together to bring each other up (be positive), and not pull each other down. We should highlight each other’s strengths, so that we can not only be better for ourselves, but also become a better and stronger community as a whole. We need to help support one another. CAAG and CBS has taught me this important lesson.
What issue(s) are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about sex trafficking–an issue that affects the world. I feel that the issue does not receive enough attention, especially in Asian countries and or in Atlanta, one of the leading cities with problems on sex trafficking. I want to help save these women and children, especially in Cambodia. Let’s save our children and let them keep their innocence as they should. These are young girls and boys and it’s our job to come together to protect them.
Interview by Phatry Derek Pan
?: Woody Photography