Celebrating New Year’s with My SHE-CAN Family
By: Chamnan Suon
In Cambodia, New Year’s Eve is not considered a big holiday. Since this was my first New Year’s celebration in the United States, my mentor Megan Dorsey and her parents, Patty and Jim, decided to made it really special for me and my SHE-CAN sisters by hosting a NYE sleepover party for us in San Francisco. My mentor Amanda Reidhead, who lives in Arizona, even flew in with her children Hannah and Erick in to join the celebration. Eight of my SHE-CAN Cambodian and Rwandan sisters joined the party – six freshmen and two juniors –and we all spent the night together. Celebrating the new year with so many people made me feel like I was part of a huge family.
At the party, my SHE-CAN sisters and I had so much fun. We had dinner together, played games, and even had manicures and face masks. Then, we watched the movie Legally Blonde. The movie was about a young persistent woman who remains positive and confident even when people doubt her – it showed my SHE-CAN sisters and me that we need to work hard in school and never doubt in our own potential to be strong female leaders.
At 11:45 pm, we started the countdown:
3…2…1… Happy New Year!!
Once the clock struck midnight everyone hugged and we were all excited to welcome each other to 2019. In that moment, I felt the connection of sisterhood and family – I was very grateful to celebrate with my mentors and my SHE-CAN sisters
The next day my SHE-CAN sisters Rosie, Mouy, Sinet, Sreytom and I went to explore Chinatown in San Francisco. First, we had boba tea together, which is a popular drink in Cambodia, and I was so happy to find it in San Francisco. After that, we ate at a ramen restaurant. It was great to spend time together after not seeing each other since the beginning of our first semesters in college.
Then we had to say good-bye to one another. We hugged and wished each other luck for the spring semester. I am so thankful that I was able to spend my first New Year’s in the United States with my SHE-CAN sisters. Even though we are not sisters by blood, we share the same purpose – to make positive changes in our community. SHE-CAN brought us together and allowed us to learn from each other, share our perspectives, and our dreams for Cambodia. It has been a special experience and a privilege for me to know them and I feel so lucky for all the years we have to come.