Originating from Kralanh District, approximately 60 kilometers from Siem Reap Town, Choeum Chhorliheang is one of PEPY Empowering Youth’s scholarship students now in year 3.
Kralanh is a remote district with limited access to education, where many families depend on subsistence rice farming or chose to migrate illegally to Thailand to earn a living. Despite these difficulties, Liheang was determined to invest in his education, cycling around 3 hours to school and back every day for a number of years. Although Liheang loved to learn, he was very unsure of his chances to pursue higher education and eventually secure a skilled job.
Fast forward to July 2013 and Liheang successfully passed his grade 12 examination. He was incredibly excited and proud of his achievement, but still the question remained of how to continue his education. After the launch of the Scholarship program in 2012, PEPY was once again able to offer all 2013 graduates of Kralanh High School the chance to apply for a scholarship. Liheang jumped at the chance, explaining later “I applied for the scholarship because I strongly believe in education”.
The application process was by no means simple, but Liheang successfully secured a scholarship offer to study at the university in Siem Reap. Waiting for the call from PEPY was a nerve-racking time, but when he was given the good news, he and his family felt nothing but excitement. They all recognized it as a special opportunity for Liheang to further his education.
Liheang follows the Bachelor Degree of Banking and Finance Course, studying hard at university and the PEPY Learning Center. The commitment to learning he showed in his home town continues on at university and he not only performs well in class, but is also very supportive to those around him. As a result of the skills gained over the course of the scholarship program, in his third year Liheang was offered a job as a Credit Officer at a Micro Finance Institution – Niron PLC – not far from Siem Reap Town. Liheang accepted the job and now uses his weekends to study. It’s hard work, but Liheang knows he’s on the path to success.
Liheang still has many dreams he wants to achieve: in the next five years, he hopes to complete a Masters degree and be in a good position to support his family, both financially and mentally. His ultimate goal is to work with a non-profit organization focusing on education or health, and to find new, innovative ways to connect people from his community with better opportunities.
PEPY Empowering Youth congratulates Liheang on everything he has achieved so far and wishes him all the best for the exciting future ahead of him.