As our university and tertiary education program continues to expand, we’ve become more closely acquainted with what the path looks like on the way to where our students are heading. Quite frankly it is poorly lit, rarely trodden, and so often without clear direction.
On a broad scale the students who are making it to the end of the road are the exception among their peers, somehow having found the gumption to move forward but with few to guide them. You’ve heard about university, you’ve heard about the possibilities that education can bring, maybe you’ve met someone who studied in University before. But it is your daily surroundings, the community you grow up in, the majority, that will always speak louder than the exception.
Our mentorship program is about shining a light on the path forward, fostering a culture of leadership and inclusion, building a community of positive role models, and opening eyes to just how many paths there are to choose from. It’s a three part program: inviting our university scholars to come back to their communities to share their stories, hosting guest speaker events with successful change-makers in the community, and leading field trips to secondary schools, high schools, universities, workplaces and career fairs.
At the end of our pilot year of the mentorship program, one of our high school students explained it best: “Now I know clear.” she wrote to us, “If they can do it, so can I.”
Read the stories of Chamnan, Channy, and Sokha to find out more about the inspiration behind our mentorship program, here!
We spend somewhere between $1,500 to $2,000 per year creating a space where mentorship can be effectively carried out. The budget provides occasional accommodation and food as well as bus tickets to bring them back to Siem Reap (and beyond) on holidays and other breaks from school so that they can deliver presentations to younger students, other University hopefuls, their parents, teachers and other members of the community.