KPA Vision statement:
KPA envisions a strong and healthy Khmer community in Long Beach with cultural pride and a great sense of ethnic identity.
It is the mission of KPA to produce tomorrow’s leaders of today’s Khmer youth through higher education, leadership development, scholarships, empowerment, advocacy, and health education to youth, women and families.
The Khmer Parent Association (KPA) was founded in 1995 by Chan & Mark Hopson to respond to the immediate needs of the Khmer children in the long Beach Unified School District. There was a high rate of high school drop-outs among Khmer youth, and KPA offered free, personalized tutoring for at-risk high school youth 3 days per week. Over the years, the program was expanded to include younger children, and now serves Hispanic and Southeast Asian students from grades 5 – 12. In addition to tutoring, KPA is an advocate for students and empowers the parents to build good relationships with their children’s teachers and promote better communication with other parents and school administrators. To motivate students to pursue academic excellence, KPA also provides career guidance, resume preparation, conducts mock interviews, college visits and filling out job applications. To encourage the pursuit of higher education, KPA also offers small, annual Southeast Asian scholarships to 15-30 selected Southeast Asian high school seniors who graduated from the Long Beach Unified School District.
To create a healthy active lifestyle, KPA has offered the Annual Khmer Health Forum since 2005 by inviting local health experts to educate the Khmer community about preventive medicine. These conferences are free, and have been very popular, with over 200 people attending each year. To empower them to take charge of their own health, KPA trained two groups of Khmer Women’s Health Ambassadors (KWHAT) and one group of Khmer Men’s Health Ambassadors (KMHAT) to increase the knowledge and awareness of important health topics that can be treated or cured if detect early.