Leakhena Lyk Yoeun is a second generation Cambodian American born and raised in Chicago. Both of Lyk's parents are Cambodian genocide survivors.
In the 1980s, Lyk's family came as refugees and settled in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Lyk's parents are active members of the Chicago Cambodian community, helping to plan community events and serving as advisors to those who seek assistance. Today, Lyk's family is one of the few Cambodian families living in Uptown, with easy access to the Cambodian temple and the Cambodian Association of Illinois (CAI) and the National Cambodian American Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial.
Lyk's identifies herself as American Born Cambodian, or ABC. She’s had to overcome challenges, while learning to appreciate the identities of East meet West merging together. Through her parents’ mentorship and support, Lyk learned to live and survive identity crisis. One of these accomplishments to overcome identity crisis is in her ability to navigate both worlds, being able to speak, read, and write in both English and Khmer.
Lyk is one of the community leaders in the Asian American and Chicago community to represent and lead the Cambodian American stories such as education, social justice, advocacy, civic engagement, leadership development, and cultural preservation.
Moving forward, Lyk sees herself a self-free mobilizer, member-building and connecting all Cambodian generations through networking and interacting through community events and social media. One of the reasons why Lyk joined the NCAHM is the opportunity to build bridges, making connections and focusing on community sustainability.
Lyk balances work and personal time by doing meditation, yoga, reading, creative writing, dancing, music, food, and traveling.