In 1975, Torm Nompraseurt was one of the first Laotian refugees to arrive in Richmond. He came with a strong sense to help others. It’s a quality he inherited from his village and family, and something he believes is a core value of Laotian culture.
More than 20 years later, Nompraseurt remains motivated. As a community organizer with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), a nonprofit dedicated to environmental, social and economic justice, Nompraseurt recruits and trains new Laotian leaders in the community to participate in civic engagement.
At 62, with retirement fast-approaching, he is hopeful that younger Laotian Americans will continue the work he’s helped start and develop their own expertise and tools for community organizing.