Five years on, scholar returns home to tackle educational issues
The Five-Year Scholarship supports young students from developing countries with significant economic, political, or conflict issues to join UWCSEA in Grade 8. Selected to act as ambassadors for their countries, these students will share their culture, embark on new adventures, discover their strengths and gain a better understanding of how they can positively impact their country in the future.
Kimheang, Class of 2016, the daughter of rice farmers from Cambodia and recipient of a five-year scholarship, graduated from the College in May 2016 with a full scholarship to continue her studies in the US. However, before continuing her own educational journey, Kimheang felt compelled to take a gap year and use her experience to tackle educational issues in her home country.
“At a place like UWCSEA, we learn how to embrace our own cultures and how to respect others. We learn about leadership skills and are able to be hands-on with issues that we are concerned about. It is with determination to act (and not just to talk) that you feel equipped to bring all of these amazing experiences and skills back home. This is why I am taking a gap year after graduation to work with two NGOs in Cambodia that focus on education and youth empowerment.
During the first four months of the gap year, I will be planning a conference based on my experiences from the UWCSEA Initiative for Peace (IfP) programme, except instead of conflict resolution it will focus on leadership and empowerment for Cambodian youths. I want to help them see the bigger world and become inspired to effectively address issues in a sustainable way. I know that I am truly lucky to have received a scholarship. However, I also feel that in receiving such a wondrous gift, I have a responsibility to pay it forward. My ultimate aim is to continue working with NGOs in Cambodia and help the future development of my country.”
Kimheang has been offered a full Davis scholarship to continue her studies at Luther College, Iowa starting in 2017. Gifts to the Scholarship Programme allow us to unleash the potential of promising students who are determined to shape a better world. Thank you.
Giving to the College, through the Annual Fund and UWCSEA Foundation, enriches the unique UWC learning experience and brings the College closer to achieving its mission.