By Travis Thompson

The worldwide PLF family did it!  We’ve now officially brought in 50 new students to our upper-secondary scholarship program this year, and as of today, all of them are funded to go to public school.

top students at Wat Bo

Top students being awarded at a PLF school.

As we’re beginning to get better, and more, data on our students, we’re seeing that it’s impossible to overstate the impact of each PLF scholarship that you’ve provided.  All of our 150 upper-secondary students are in the top half of their classes, and about two-thirds are ranked in the top 10 in their class.

Those numbers are exciting, but they don’t tell the even more dramatic stories of what many of our students have been through and how a scholarship has transformed their lives.  Take for example the young woman who dropped out of school when she was forced to work in a massage parlor.  PLF rescued her, got her back into school with a scholarship, and even though she missed a third of the school year in the beginning, she ranked 28 of 60 in her class by July 2013.

scholarship 2

PLF Media Teacher Sokha Khoun helps a student.

Or, take for example the young man who lost both of his parents at a young age to HIV.  With the scholarship he’s been able to go back to school and support himself, becoming one of the top in his class.  Or, the story of the young woman who was failing her classes when PLF met her.  But, she became one of our best students to date, a sheer computer whiz, with her interest in technology pushing her to become a more successful student.

Then, there are stories of students from the deep countryside who’ve left everything–their families and homes—for a chance to study in Siem Reap.  One young woman on PLF scholarship left her home at Grade 9 and now lives in a thatch house with other homeless students just outside town so she can attend

A group of scholarship students from Knar School.

A group of scholarship students from Knar School.

school.  Other students must ride more than an hour on their bicycles to get to school, often in pouring rain, or miserable heat, but because they have a scholarship, they’re just happy to have the chance to learn.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping us keep this great thing going!