Paul Ratha Yem

Paul Ratha Yem

I came to America as a young man soon after the fall of Cambodia in 1975 and I was adopted by American family living in San Bernardino California. After school and on weekends, I volunteered to help Cambodian families in Long Beach, California.

In 1980’s, I got a job offer working with Cambodian refugee families in the Boston areas, and I jumped at the opportunity, driving across the country without knowing how cold it is in Massachusetts.

In 1984, I was hired by the Executive Office of Public Safety, then Attorney’s general Scott Harshbarger as the Asian Liaison to help breaking cultural & language barrier between the Asian Communities and the law enforcement. I also was a member of the Lowell gang taskforce led by then the Middlesex DA attorney Tom Reilly & Chief Ed Davis creating community policing and hiring the 1st two Cambodian police officers. 

I left the state job 1989 to become a banker working for Lowell Institution for Savings and Enterprise bank providing personal banking, business loans, and mortgages.

In 1995 I became the executive director of the Cambodian American League of Lowell ( CALL) promoting micro enterprise training; providing first time home buyers training in English, Spanish & Khmer in conjunction with the Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership. For those who were not ready to buy a house, we developed 24 affordable apartments at 60 Middlesex St next to Washington Savings bank. 

I was the founding member of the Cambodia Town promoting business development & tourism by holding annual Cambodian New Year celebration in April in Clemente Park and Southeast Asian Water festival in August. 

I left the organization in 2004 to start my own businesses that include a convenient store, a Laundromat in South Lowell and my real estate business in the Acre helping families to purchase homes and businesses.

Thank you


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