Cambodian American model, nurse, and activist iKandy was born on March 28th 1982 near Washington DC to refugee parents. iKandy’s mother and father attempted to build a better life in the Washington DC area after fleeing Cambodia and barely escaping the genocide of the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime. The stress and unfamiliarity of American ways, customs and their past took a toll on the migrant family, and throughout her childhood iKandy found herself bearing the brunt of her parents’ rage and suffering.
During adolescence iKandy struggled to find a cultural niche, until 2000 when she graduated high school and declared emancipation from her parents. She quickly learned the hard way that success would only come if she grabbed life by the horns and steered in the direction of her dreams.
After gaining understanding of her nurturing and compassionate side iKandy graduated college with a degree in nursing. In 2006, having a solid education under her belt, iKandy decided to dabble in her dreams and began participating in the modeling industry. By 2008 she had established a solid career, and she moved to New Orleans in search of a missing passion and deeper meaning to her life. She soon encountered a muse, her urban photographer, who continues to inspire iKandy to keep in touch with her true self and to pursue inner beauty. This process of self-exploration and reflection led iKandy to long for an improvement in the lives of future generations of Cambodians and their families. She put her drive and compassion to good use and became a Cambodian Rights Activist.
iKandy strives to use modeling for a greater good, spreading awareness and fostering activism regarding the people and culture of Cambodia. She envisions an optimistic future for her parents’ country, a future where equality is protected, where cultural development is valued, and where freedom of expression is prized.
Within the past year iKandy’s good karma has finally caught up with her. She has been featured on over twenty websites, appeared in over six magazines and Ne-Yo’s music videos, and acted in various films alongside Hollywood A-listers Jason Statham, Ben Foster, and Brittany Murphy. Most recently iKandy was selected as a Seagram’s Model, and she will be featured in their 2011 calendar. She is involved with her own non-profit organization, Strengthening Cambodian Communities (SCC) Project and coordinating events with other non-profits such as Nomi Network, to help combat human trafficking on a global and local scale. With her incredible drive, overwhelming compassion, and astonishing beauty there is no doubt that the door to opportunity is only beginning to open. Still iKandy remains humbly excited about what lies to come.
Written by Team iKandy's Lyrical Genius - Lauren Siegel