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Updated: October 3, 2022 / 2022 NextUp: 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: Cambodian community leader aims to 'widen the path' for others

Marpheen Chann portrait Photo / Tim Greenway Marpheen Chann, president of Khmer Maine, recently published his memoir, “Moon in Full,” available at local book stores and online from Islandport Press.
Marpheen Chann, 31 Community impact manager, Good Shepherd Food Bank Click here to see all 40 Under 40 honorees.  
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Significant professional accomplishment: Publishing my memoir, “Moon in Full.”

Passion project: Being president of Khmer Maine, formerly the Cambodian Community Association of Maine, working to provide kids of Cambodian descent opportunities I didn’t have growing up to explore my identity as a child of refugees, an adoptee, and a Mainer. Working on improving the overall social well-being of the Cambodian community by helping to integrate more economically and civically.

Audacious goal: To widen the path for those like me — who know they don’t quite fit in because of their skin color, sexual orientation or gender identity, or family background — so they don’t have to feel the pressures of being “the first” or one of a handful of pioneers. I want to make the path a little easier so they can just be and take in the scenery and enjoy life, pursue their dreams and passions, and pass on the lessons on how to just be human. The purpose in life is to simply be human, not superheroes or perfect angels.

Favorite quote: “Be polite to all, but intimate with a few.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Influential book: “History of Western Philosophy,” by Bertrand Russell

Favorite movies/TV shows: Anything “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” or “Lord of the Rings” related. The occasional anime such as “Naruto” or “Demon Slayer.”

How do you recharge: I’ll go out for a drive, a walk in the woods, or a stroll on the shores during evening golden hour to take in the sights and sounds, and to breathe.

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