First Generation

Sophomore business management student Kenderick Xongmixay has found a way to make Kent State a home. He might have grown up close to Kent, but his roots are from much farther. Kenderick was born and raised in Akron, Ohio where he shared his passion for soccer with his highschool teammates. He grew up with three half siblings on his dad’s side and two half siblings on his moms side. 

Kenderick holding his high school soccer ball

Kendericks parents gave birth to him in Akron but their journey to get there is more than incredible. His parents were born and raised in Laos which is a southeast Asian country that is right on the border of Thailand. Kendericks dad was brought to America by his family, but later went back to Laos after graduating from Akron University. Once his dad made his way back to Laos he met Kendericks mom and they fell in love. They both then moved back to Akron where they gave birth to Kenderick. 

Growing up, Kenderick lived in a three language speaking household. The Xongmixay family fluently speaks Laos, Tai, and English.

“We often speak multiple different languages at home.”

— Kenderick Xongmixay

However, their prime language that they speak at home is English. Having parents that grew up in another country than Kenderick made things different for him. His parents often go to Buddhist Temples. Kenderick used to go with them as a kid but does not regularly attend anymore. 

Once Kenderick decided that college was something that he wanted to pursue, he had a choice to make, stay in Akron or go to Kent. Throughout high school, Kenderick had the grades to take college plus classes. Doing so, gave him the opportunity to see the Akron campus and what the college was like. With the grades that he was getting to get into college classes in high school, he was also able to get himself a scholarship to Kent State University. 

“I always wanted to go to college away from home but not too far from home.”

Kenderick Xongmixay

Kent State University is about 20 minutes away from Akron so he had his wish granted. He gets to live in Kent with his friends, while also being able to go visit his family at home. Kenderick goes home almost every weekend to visit his family. “I’m very happy about my decision to come to Kent State. With it being not too far, having a scholarship, and getting to live with his friends, Kenderick was able to get everything he wanted out of a university. 

When Kenderick is on breaks throughout the summers, he goes and visits his family. Most of Kendericks family doesn’t live in Ohio anymore, but they all still live in the United States. Kenderick has also traveled to Laos to visit other family members. He always wondered what it would be like to grow up and live in Laos, but he is happy where he grew up. He mentioned that Laos is nice to visit, but Akron is his home. 

Kenderick with his music set up

In Kendericks free time he enjoys music, hanging out with his friends, and playing soccer. He shared that his favorite music is R&B, house, and rap music. He then mentioned his favorite artist is Kendrick Lamar. Kenderick also had an easier transition moving away from home, because he lives with friends that he went to high school with.

As mentioned before, soccer was his favorite hobby. He has played it his entire life, and regularly watches the pro teams. He also shared his prize possession which is his soccer ball that was signed by his entire high school soccer team. 

As a first generation, Kenderick has made quite the life for himself. He has had opportunities that he might not have had if he would’ve been born in Laos. Kenderick hopes to get a job in the business world, and start his next venture. Kenderick has found that Kent State will always be a home to him. 

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