Meet The Colleagues
Nissana's Service Bio
I currently work as a Program Assistant for the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Program in Tacoma, assisting low-income students who have a passion for their community to gain admission to college. I also work as a Community Development Coordinator for the Mentor253 Program mentoring immigrant children. In New York, I will serve with a wide variety of organizations on the east coast, including the United Nation's Children's Fund and those that specifically work with Cambodian youth.
Born into a family of traditional Cambodian dancers, Nissana describes her favorite dance, the "Blessing Dance," as embodying the struggle, hope, and beauty of the Cambodian people. Her parents escaped Cambodia in the 1970s, eluding the Khmer Rouge's ethnic and artistic suppression, and settled in Tacoma. Nissana's mother preserved the traditional dances, and so ensured solidarity and ethnic identity for her family and community.
Nissana's own motivational leadership led to her selection into Act Six, an innovative program preparing talented urban leaders to engage the college campus and their home communities. After graduating from Whitworth University, Nissana returned to her Tacoma roots with AmeriCorps. As Act Six program assistant, she in turn recruited and prepared emerging leaders for college.
Now in graduate studies in Social Work at Columbia University, Nissana counsels and empowers children in the Bronx who are deeply impacted by poverty. Inspired by her mother's legacy, Nissana's vision is to invest her learning back into the Tacoma inner-city, helping immigrants and other residents build identity and opportunity. Through this journey, she deeply values building lifelong friendships with other Colleagues who "are just as committed and persistent as I am."
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