2020 Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: United Cambodian Community
Address: 2201 EAST ANAHEIM STREET SUITE 200
City: Long Beach
Officer-title: Executive Director
Mission: To elevate the Cambodian community through local engagement and leadership that embodies Cambodian cultural values.
Title: Program Manager
Primary-phone: 562 433 2490
Secondary-phone: 949 735 2926
Grantpurpose: To provide art supplies and free art classes to 20 low income high school students.
What-is-project: The goals and objectives of the Living Arts Programs are as follows:
• By May 31, 2021, 20 youth will complete 12 workshops, 1 exposure field trip, and 1 showcase.
• By May 31, 2021, 50% of youth will show an increase in aspirations, leadership, self-advocacy, and selfcompetence.
• By May 31, 2021, 40% of youth will show an increase in their grade point average.
UCC’s overall mission is to promote and advocate for the well-being and advancement of the Cambodian
community. By implementing the Living Arts Program, UCC can give low income and Cambodian youth an
opportunity to explore their passion for the arts and make connections with several career pathways.
Youth will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their identity as Cambodian American
through deeper understanding of Khmer arts and history. Youth also gain greater skills to aspire towards
higher education and/or a career in the arts. The Living Arts Program revitalizes Khmer arts and builds
new young leaders.
We are creating a healthy, productive new leaders through hands-on art projects conducted by professional artists to teach, mentor and guide local high school students to understand what it takes to become a professional artist.
Building upon the success of the first year, UCC is expanding the Living Arts Program to visual arts,
performing arts, and music. In the first year of implementation, 43 youth were exposed to various careers
and inspired by role models through guest artist from various art careers. Youth participated in 12
workshops and displayed their work at the end of year art showcase. Students improved their public
speaking skills as they practiced marketing themselves as artists, which also promoted greater self confidence.
After the program, youth developed in their social and emotional behaviors; 45% increase in
their ability to manage emotions, 49% increase in aspirations, 41% increase in leadership, 46% increase
in responsibility, and 49% increase in self-competence. In addition to developing youth, UCC established
partnerships with local professional artists, museums, arts community throughout the city to connect students.
Based on the successes and experiences from the first year of implementing the Living Arts Program,
UCC has implemented the following changes:
• Serve only 20 youth to build deeper relationships with the youth.
• Include incentives to reinforce the good work and entrepreneurship skills.
• Continue to build self-confidence by expanding art beyond visual arts to include performing arts and
• Grander end of year showcase to give youth artists an opportunity to display their work and market
themselves, as they potentially connect with entrepreneurship opportunities.
How-will-you-succeed: The success of the Living Arts Programs will be evaluated in the following ways:
• Sign-in sheets will be collected during workshops, field trips, and at the end of the year showcase.
• Social Behavioral Survey will be conducted pre-post program. Youth improvement in aspirations,
leadership, self-advocacy, and self-competence will be shown through differences between pre and post tests.
• Grades will be collected from students before and after the program to determine youth improvement
in grade point average.
• Interviews will be conducted with students throughout the duration of the Living Arts Program to
document and monitor student experiences and track feedback.
Who-are-you: UCC serves individuals, families and youth in the Greater Long Beach area, which has the largest
population of Cambodians in the United States. The lack of education and workforce development
contributes to the high rates of poverty in the Cambodian community. Over 20% are living below the
Federal Poverty Line.
Only 22% of Cambodians hold a management, business, science, or art occupation. Furthermore, only
58% of Cambodians have a high school degree and 16% have Bachelors degrees or higher.
Students are unprepared for education and parents are disconnected from the education system. Overall,
the Cambodian community has low academic and economic success.
We also realize the demographic of Khmer are shifting, in terms of interracial marriages. Our community
are even more diverse on cultural and ethnic level. We aim to provide the arts to the broader community
of diverse color residents, brown, black and others. Our diverse students also have been in transitional
housing, gender transitions and on the autism spectrum. We intend to provide these services and the
arts to them in additional to mentorship, school guidance and other areas of support youth need to
Susana Sngiem has been leading United Cambodian Community for over six year successfully. The program manager, Sayon Syprasoeuth has been overseeing the youth program and Living Arts since he began in 2015. The partnership with local art artists, arts community, Arts Council Long Beach, Long Beach Art Museum, Arts Exchange, MOLAA, Los Angeles Art Commission and California Arts Council has helped the success of our program continue to thrive.
Our Living Arts Long Beach program has be implemented since November 2016 and we have improved many lives through creative art making, partnership, mentorship and community work.