Our History


Trevor and Agnieszka Gile first visited Cambodia in 2002 and fell in love with the country and its people. Coming from humble beginnings in the Seattle area, Trevor recognized that the opportunities he had did not exist for those in the developing world. He believed that the big equalizer would be to provide opportunities for those who could take advantage of them. For Agnieszka, Cambodia reminded her of her home country of Poland with so many years of oppression and World War II genocide. She was determined to give the children of Cambodia this new opportunity.

Encouraged by the theory that instead of giving a man a fish, you teach a man to fish, Trevor and Agnieszka began extensive research and planning to develop the concept of Liger Leadership Academy. Attracting a great team of specialists from all areas of education and non-profit development, they created a new type of organization providing resources and guidance for promising children as a long-term investment to help the entire society. The first Liger Leadership Academy was opened in 2012 and today hosts 110 students.

The Liger Timeline

The Liger Timeline


Trevor and Agnieszka’s First Trip to Cambodia

Our founders, Trevor and Agnieszka Gile, first visit and fall in love with the country and its people.

Charitable Research and Outreach Begins

Trevor and Agnieszka decide to invest in the youth of developing countries as a method to creating positive and lasting change. Cambodia is selected as the first investment.

The Liger Charitable Foundation Formed

The Liger Charitable Foundation is established with its first and founding project as the Liger Learning Center. The organization’s miss is to invest in the education of a promising few who can become impactful change agents. The sustainable education model is built to be able to be replicated anywhere in the world.

Construction of Liger Starts

The Liger Charitable Foundation purchases land on the outskirts of Cambodia`s capital, Phnom Penh. Construction on the state of the art Liger campus begins.

Recruitment Process Begins

The Liger recruitment team travels to 203 primary schools across Cambodia to interview 12,000 students, test 4,000 students, and select 50 students to receive a full residential scholarship.

Liger Campus Opens


The First Liger Class Arrives

The first cohort of 50 students arrives on campus. These students were chosen not only on academic accomplishments but also because they exhibited the characteristics of future change agents and embodied the core values of Liger.

Liger Adopts WIDA

Liger becomes a member of the International School Consortium for World-class Instructional Design Assessment (WIDA) and begins implementing WIDA as its overall system for measuring English proficiency.

Recruitment of Second Class Begins


Expansion of the Liger Campus

In preparation for the arrival of the second cohort of students, The Liger Charitable Foundation purchases a plot of adjacent land for expansion and construction begins.

The Liger Charitable Foundation was founded in July 2009 as a private foundation under 501(c)(3). In May 2017, it received approval from the IRS to be treated as a public charity looking back to January 2012. In August, it applied for a D/B/A as Liger Leadership Academy Foundation.