Introducing Diana Pereda of Los Angeles
“I think one of the natural inspirations that drives me is my heritage. Having family both in Cambodia and the Pacific, I have always dreamed of giving back to such regions that currently face a number of social issues, such as poverty, environmental degradation, and low levels of education,” says Diana Pereda, who also describes herself as mixed race Cambodian and Chamorro.
Pereda’s diverse upbringing includes time in Texas, California, and even Kansas. Summer was when she would always reconnect with her Khmer relatives, times she enjoyed as opportunities to immerse herself and learn the benefits and the drawbacks of the communities in Long Beach and San Diego.
Now studying entrepreneurship and developmental economics at the University of Southern California, Pereda sees a similar resolve in those around her:
“When I think of the state of Khmer America today, I feel there is a resilient entrepreneurial spirit in our communities, as we have accepted the challenge to take what limited resources we are given and make something new and remarkable out of them. Cambodian American game-changers deserve to be shown in a fresh new spotlight, and I am confident that the Khmerican— which is a change-maker itself—will be able to deliver.”
In fact, she credits Khmerican with making her aware of the many Cambodians across the country who are achieving great things. Pereda’s realizes, however, that there is still much work to be done here and abroad; she cites family in Cambodia with precarious livelihoods as rural farmers. Yet she is optimistic that her business education and resourcefulness can be applied to such real-world situations.
“The Khmerican has the potential to become an authoritative as well as philanthropic resource for Cambodian Americans,” says Pereda, whose expertise is a much needed addition to the team. “I look forward to helping develop our business model to promote sustainability so that we may better serve our community in the future.”