Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell honored longtime Long Beach community advocate Chan Hopson as “Woman of the Year” on the floor of the California State Assembly on Monday, according to a release issued today. The annual celebration was held at the State Capitol as part of Women’s History Month.
“Ms. Chan’s courageous spirit and generosity have touched the lives of countless young people in our community,” stated O’Donnell. “Whether it is her advocacy on behalf of public health or her work with Khmer high school youth, her passion and tireless efforts are truly deserving of this recognition.”
A Long Beach resident since 1980, Hopson was a high school teacher when she was forced to leave Cambodia after the Killing Fields began. And as a survivor of the work camps, she arrived in the US where she determined she would help as many Khmer women, children and families as possible.
Hopson co-founded the Khmer Parent Association (KPA) in 1995 and continued to serve as the organization’s volunteer Executive Director for over two decades. KPA’s mission is to encourage young Cambodians to pursue higher education and connect at-risk youth with mentorship opportunities, according to the release.
Also a graduate of several health programs, Hopson established the Annual Khmer Health Forum, arranged two Khmer Women’s Health Ambassador trainings and one for men in an effort to educate the Cambodian community about topics such as preventative medicine. Additionally, she gave over 10,000 hours of volunteer work to St. Mary Medical Center.
O’Donnell will host a later local event in honor of Hopson and other extraordinary women from across the 70th District in April.
Image courtesy of the Office of Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell.