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Lynnfield resident Sophor Chhour has been honored by the Massachusetts Commission for the Status of Women (MCSW) as a 2020 Commonwealth Heroine.
Nominated by Senator Brendan Crighton, Chhour has worked at the Lynn Community Health Center for over 25 years as a licensed mental health counselor. She also runs the Rainbow Adult Day Health Care Bayon Center in Lynn and owns the Lynn Primary Care Center, which provides primary medical care and behavioral services to local Cambodian community members.
“I am very happy to give support to the community,” she said. “There are so many ways to help in the community especially in times of crisis. For many people, this is a triple trauma for them, so I try to use my past experience to help them, to teach them to use their experience of the past to survive these times and of the need to support each other.”
A Cambodian refugee who escaped the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, Chhour came to the United States in 1981. Drawing strength from the trauma she experienced as a survivor of the Killing Fields, she was inspired to pursue mental health counseling as a career. In 1997, she graduated from Cambridge College with a Masters degree in counseling. Teaching, training, and giving back to her patients is her greatest passion. She is inspired to help other Cambodians in the U.S. share their experiences, and give a voice to survivors of all types of trauma.
“It’s an honor to recognize Sophor’s work in Lynn and surrounding communities and to have learned how her life’s work is a reflection of her desire to support the Cambodian community members,” said Crighton. “Her selfless actions speak volumes about her character.”
Representative Bradley Jones also had high praise.
“I am pleased to join with Senator Crighton in congratulating Sophor Chhour on her selection as a Commonwealth Heroine. Her work exemplifies the commitment to community involvement the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women seeks to recognize.”
Chhour said she is also busy in her role as chairman of the Kakrona Center of Lynn, Inc. an organization dedicated to Cambodian cultural awareness.
“It is so important to try to teach our next generation, no matter where we are, of the need to keep our culture alive.”