Age: 20
From: Prek Tasor Arun Rus Orphanage Center
Major: Nursing

School: International University

I come from the Arun Ras Orphanage in Prey Veng province. I lived at the orphanage since I was in 5th grade. Back in my hometown, I lived with my mother, grandfather, and my two cousins. My father passed away when I was one. I don’t even remember what he looked like; I was too little.

My mother made a living by selling vegetables along the side of the road in my village. She worked very hard, all day and night. My grandfather was very old, so he stayed home to look after my three cousins and me. Unfortunately, when my grandpa happened to be really sick, no one was there to properly look after my cousins — and one of them drowned. This is a painful memory for each of us. Now, only two of my cousins are left, living with us and desperately trying to make ends meet each day. When we don’t have enough to eat, we endure in our hunger together.

When I was in first grade, I had to quit school after the first half of the year, because no one was able to help my mother. Only when I was 7 I was able to return to school, and attend second grade. What stopped me from quitting school was my love for learning. But most importantly, I told myself that the education was the only thing that could bring my family out of poverty. As a result, I went to school whenever I could. I still worked though, helping my neighbors farm so that I could relieve my mom’s burden.

When I was in 4th grade, both of my cousins entered Arun Ras Prek Tasor Orphanage. A year later, I entered the same orphanage. We were able to study English and computers. We were so happy and excited because our teacher, Arun, promised us that he was going to do everything he could to help us make it to university. When I was finishing high school, I was chosen as a scholarship recipient from Global Children Cambodia. I never thought I would be able to attend university or choose a major that I love.

I chose to study nursing because a developing country like Cambodia has many people who have health issues that need to be properly taken care of. I want to help cure those diseases. In the future, I want to have a good job and most importantly, I want to continue my studies abroad if the opportunity comes around. I want to continuing my studies in pharmacology.