SEA3eD Council Members:
Ay has devoted the last 13 years of his professional career towards the misson of equitable education for all underserved communities in the capacities of an instructor, academic advisor, mentor program coordinator, and college preparatory consultant. Ay is a Mienh American, was born and raised in Portland, OR from parents who witnessed the tragedy of the Secret War in Laos. He currently serves as the Chair and Co-Founder of the Southeast Asian American Access in Education Coalition and is the Program Manager for the TRIO Student Support Service program at Highline Community College. In a keynote address to the Mienh Youth at the 2010 Oregon Iu-Mienh Association Graduation, Ay expressed his conviction for educational equity as, “a mission to give back to the community that has provided me so much… a foundational belief we, if supported can reach our true potential.”
Ekkarath (Ekk) Sisavatdy
Lao American by chance and certainly proud by choice, Ekk describes himself as a Lao American Organization “Groupie!” He loves to follow, support and volunteer for organizations like the Lao Heritage Foundation and Legacies of War. He’s passionate about helping out and giving voice to the underrepresented and underserved communities and believes that education in any capacity is a foundation for success. Ekk graduated from WWU and currently is a Program Manager, Retention and Advising at Highline Community College. Along with being a part of SEAeD Ekk also serves as an Art’s Commissioner with the City of Des Moines. In his free time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and road trips, cooking and watching TV.
Seng Vue is the current President for the Hmong Association of Washington (HAW). Seng has been actively involved in HAW for the past 5 years. He enjoys volunteering for the community as it gives him a sense of giving back. Seng believes education is very important for the SE Asian American community. He graduated from Oregon State University, and currently works as an Engineer at Exotic Metals Forming Company. He got involved in SEAeD because he wants more attention on education for the SE Asian American Community. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and fishing.
Bopha Cheng is a second generation Khmer American born in Olympia, Washington and spent five years during high school in the North Shore of Hawaii where her family was a part of a small Southeast Asian farming community. She came back to the northwest for college and just completed her master’s degree in education with focus on Student Development Administration. She was involved in her communities during her high school years, joined and held leadership position with the Khmer Student Association during her undergraduate studies, participated in community organizing and have recently focused her energy on access to education. As a first generation college student, she identifies with the navigational struggles of higher education and hopes to provide leadership and advocacy for students accessing college from underrepresented communities.
She is now a local to the Greater Seattle Area and lives in Renton with her partner as well as her mother, brother and pet dog, Bonus. She is looking forward to bringing in a new life into the world in late August 2014 and enjoys creative cooking with refrigerator left-overs, having engaging conversations and is a great listener.