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Child Survivor, International Speaker, Social Justice Activist, Author & Khmer Classical Dancer.
Winner of the Oregon Book Award
Finalist for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize
Finalist for the Pen USA West Literary Award
Hello. Welcome to my website.
I love storytelling, international speaking, and teasing my audiences with my good-natured sense of humor after my talks, especially during Q & A.
I'm glad you're here.
"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
I was born in Takeo Province, Cambodia to Ouch Sam and Him Bun, to whom I am indebted for the gift of my life.
While Cambodia suffered brutally under the Khmer Rouge, I, as a child, prayed endlessly that the world would come to help us.
No one came.
I didn't know then that beneath my utter helplessness, powerlessness and indignation, a raging fire burned inside me that would one day help forge my award-winning memoir When Broken Glass Floats, and unleash a resounding voice that has been, is now, and will continue to be heard in speeches and lectures in America and around the world.
After coming to the United States, I earned a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Oregon. One of my major contributions to our world was my devotion as a Research Associate to the Khmer Adolescent Project, a major post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) study on Cambodian youths who survived the Khmer Rouge era. It was conducted at Oregon Health Sciences University with the respected Dr. William H. Sack, M.D., as the Principal Investigator.
While studying pre-med at the University of Oregon, I discovered my god-given gifts of storytelling and public speaking just as I discovered my gift of the Cambodian classical dance in high school. I enjoy international speaking with large audiences, dancing, hiking, and making my family, friends and audiences laugh.
Photo by Charles King