In case you missed the episode on Southeast Asian youth in Long Beach, California from the series America By the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, the full episode is available online here.
Seng So is one of the community organizers and mentors featured in the episode on Cambodian American youth and families in Long Beach, CA. So works at Khmer Girls in Action in Long Beach, where he leads the Young Men’s Empowerment Program. Catch him and others who are inspiring change in a community that has suffered from historical trauma, from surviving the Khmer Rouge to coming to the U.S. as refugees.
“The documentary helps to shed a light on our community that examines us a whole beings—it’s a very humanistic approach and that in itself fosters a culture and environment for healing—we can bring our whole selves not just the parts and pieces that protect us from the outside world,” So said in an online screening. “We are a diverse community; our narratives and stories span the spectrum of the human experience. Thank you PBS.”
Asian Americans are the best-educated and highest-income ethnic group in the United States. They are often referred to as the “model minority,” suggesting that all Asians are successful in school and in life. But Southeast Asian Americans have some of the lowest high school completion rates in the nation. We visit Long Beach, California—the city with America’s largest Cambodian community—to find out why this educational crisis is happening and what people are doing about it. – America By The Numbers
Main image: Seng So is one of several Long Beach community members featured in “Pass or Fail in Cambodia Town.”