On a sunny May 11th in Highline College’s Building 8, the Cambodian American Community Council of Washington (known as CACCW) and various community members commemorated the success of local Khmer (Cambodian) youth and adults in reaching educational milestones, from attaining high school degrees to post-bachelor’s degrees.
Throughout the event, the audience of over 50 graduating students, their families and community members listened intently as prominent community members, Silong Chhun and Bunthay Cheam, and student speakers Tiya Proctor-Floyd and John Son, spoke of the sacrifices the students and their families made, where they had to sacrifice time to learn about their culture and support their community to pursue a higher education. Graduates, their families and the Khmer community as a whole face challenging trials as they question their identity and stand up for themselves and each other.
Yet the speakers told of a bright future that they hope to create. “Remember to appreciate and love one another, because the promise of tomorrow cannot be built on hatred,” said Son. “When it comes to our culture, remember you are both a student and a teacher, so help each other learn and grow together.”
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