Although they are poor, they are bright and hardworking. They also have what it takes to go off to the big city (Battambang) and successfully compete with affluent students who come from better schools. Time after time, the scholarship students show what they're made of and rank top in their classes.
We watch shy, insecure students go off to college and return to their village confident, empowered and greatly respected by their elders.
Eight scholarship students have graduated from college and six hold full-time jobs in their fields. Two who just graduated are well on their way to finding their careers. Without a scholarship, these girls would probably be married and eking out a living in the village. Instead, in just one generation, they are breaking the cycle of poverty for their families and themselves.
Sokhom received our first scholarship, starting the program in 2010 when she entered the tenth grade. Sokhom has had a tough life. Her family lived in a refugee camp near the Thai border and had to move to the village when the camp closed down shortly before Sokhom was born. They have no land and live in a shack on other people's property. Sokhom's father passed away.
Sokhom knows struggle and knows how it feels to be hungry. But she also knows determination and tenacity. In spite of the adversity, she graduates from Battambang University with a degree in agriculture this year. Her younger sister, Sokny, is just entering her first year of college and is as hardworking and bright as her big sister. Education is changing everything for them!
Our friend Vickie is Sokhom’s sponsor, making it possible for Sokhom to graduate from college. Vickie traveled with us to the village in 2012 and met Sokhom.
Just a little money made Sokhom’s incredible story possible. $400 keeps a student in middle or high school and $1,600 keeps a student in college. What a bargain! You can donate all or part of the costs to help change someone's life. Click here to learn how you can become a sponsor.
Get to know our scholarship students
We invite you to get to know each of the students by clicking on their photo below. You’ll fall in love with them just like we did!
Middle and High School Students
Thank You Soroptimist International of La Jolla
The Reach for the Sky scholarship program started in 2010 because of the generosity of the Soroptimist International of La Jolla.
They continue to support the program by sponsoring a university student.
Lawrence H. Summers, Former Chief Economist of the World Bank
Investment in girls' education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world.