Age: 20
From: Banteay Meanchey Province
Major: Tourism
School: National University of Management

I come from the province of Banteay Meanchey. Both of my parents are farmers. I have 3 siblings, 2 brothers and a sister. My brothers work in Thailand. The older one is 29 and the younger is 27. My family is not well-off by any means. Because my parents are really old and did not have money to educate my brothers beyond high school, my brothers had to resort to doing manual labor. They went to Thailand, because more jobs are available there. When I was in Grade 11, my parents asked me to quit school to cut back on some of their expenses. As with my brothers, they wanted to send me to work in Thailand. I begged them to let me continue until I at least got my high school diploma. They agreed. They even worked harder and saved more money, so that I might go to university. My neighbors pressured me and made me feel bad, saying I was being selfish by continuing to go to school when my parents were so old. They told me that I should quit studying so that I could earn money to help my parents. It was hard to not be put down by their criticism. By the time I got to Grade 12, I was discouraged. My older brother saw how discouraged and disappointed I was. He  encouraged me to pursue my desire for education.

Then one day, when I was still in Grade 12, my mother called; she said that some people from an organization called Global Children Cambodia were interviewing twelfth graders in my village. My mom told me to come meet with them right away, and to ask them for a scholarship to continue on to university. I was so happy and excited; I was really hopeful that I would get a scholarship. Around the same time, I learned that I passed my Grade 12 national exam. I got a call from Global Children, and they told me that I had been given a scholarship.

I got a call from Global Children, and they told me that I had been given a scholarship.At first, when I arrived at the house, I cried a lot because I missed my family and my home so much. I decided to study tourism because I want to learn about my country as much as I can. I love being adventurous so I wish to travel the world one day. In the future, I want to work for the Ministry of Tourism and become a teacher as well. I would like to thank Global Children Cambodia for giving me this scholarship and providing for my needs. Thank you so much Laura!