Channy Chhi Laux
Channy Chhi Laux is a survivor of the Cambodian genocide. When the communist Khmer Rouge began their killing in 1975, she was thirteen years old. In June of 1979, Chhi Laux arrived in Lincoln Nebraska as a refugee. After four years of starving, torture, labor camps, no school, and not knowing a word of English, she attended Lincoln High School then earned a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Santa Clara University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Chhi Laux worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer in the Aerospace and Biotech industries for 30 years before starting her own business, Angkor Cambodian Food, where she received multiple awards internationally recognizing her products for excellence in food innovation. Chhi Laux has also received multiple book awards for her autobiography, Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide. Today, Chhi Laux continues to strive toward her American dream and give back to the country that gave her a second chance of freedom. She actively manages her food manufacturing business with the goal of bringing Cambodian cuisine into American kitchens. She also travels the country, sharing her personal story of the darkest years struggling and surviving the Cambodian genocide, and how the communist ideology destroyed two generations of her family. She believes that only through education can we make informed decisions. She is a strong supporter of the first amendment and promoter of personal responsibility.