At Liger, we educate promising youth of today to develop socially conscious, entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. Enabling the next generation to change Cambodia for the better is at the core of what we do. This is why, at the end of each school year, our students are required to write a short essay on how they changed themselves, and Cambodia, in the past 12 months.
Here is a selection of these essays.
My heart was pumping fast; dup-dup dup-dup. My adrenaline was high. My palms were sweaty. My legs were shaking. I raised my left hand up, holding my air inflator/deflator of my Buoyancy Control Device (BCD, or Buoyancy Compensator, BC). My instructor signaled me a thumbs down; in divers’ language, that means descend or go down. I was filled with both fear and excitement which made me breathe like I just ran a marathon. We all pressed the deflation button at the same time; fssss, the sound of the air exiting our BCD, and there I went underwater…
Cambodia had unique lifestyle, amazing culture and unbelievable history (suffered and achievements). I want to share the stories of my country to tourists so they will leave Cambodia with notable stories and remarkable memories. As a change agent, I do not wait for anyone to start, I am the one that starts to initiate the change in this developing country at the age of 15. These are my journeys in 2018: my team created a bike tour experience, conducted drugs prevention workshop, and Frisbee training project.
The change goes along with passion, action lead to change, the more changes I make, the closer I will reach to my true passion.
I will not be able to find my true passion if I never “force myself” to explore and engage with new projects.
I admit that I knew nothing about filming or any of the cameras stuff, however, I still want to give it a try. I believed in myself that I’m going to be useful in some way to create this incredible music video in Battambang province.
I’m just a kid grew up in a small town, who decided to persevere her unknown passion which later is discovered. From the first time I’ve been introduced to science and its branches, I’ve already found my area of focus. It illuminates me into the world of satisfaction; I get it, I learn it, I feel safe, and I want more. A strong bond has made between us since that time on—we’re like uranium 235 and uranium 238—almost inseparable isotopes. Everything I did in science is going to last. Undoubtedly, science is creating immense impacts on generations; scientific discoveries and inventions will continuously formulate extraordinary progress; as said by Edward Teller, “The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.”
As a change agent for Cambodia, I always dream to see my country become a model for others. So this is why I am here. At a vast potential school, the Liger Leadership Academy, where each of us the “change agent” will do our best to accomplish our mission and create opportunities for other in order to develop this country with determination and optimism.
Change Agent. Responsible. Respectful.
These three words encompass my soul. These are the words that characterize me today. The absence of those words would make me a different person. I believe that responsibility and respect are necessary to be a change agent for this lively country, Cambodia.
It has been six years already since I left home for Liger Leadership Academy, my second home. We follow project-based curriculum; students can do research in class and explore difference societies to further their knowledge and gain experience. Project-based learning has helped me develop as a future leader in many different areas: sports, Solar Pi, and Journeys of Change.
In life, there is no turning back, and there is not a clear sight of what the future is going to look like, this means I have to trust myself that every facet that I have invested for the last 15 years will help fulfill my dream- changing Cambodia. My family would always advise me that I should focus on academics and aim for a perfect grade. However, the first step at Liger changed my perception of education forever.
Grew up in a family that valued education most, I got to gulp up as much knowledge at school as the other friends of mine- I was too lucky that my gender and family condition couldn’t get in my way at all. I was born to feel really ravenous about becoming the expert who good at anything. Although I was a hardworking student, I sometimes afraid of anything new. I was afraid of leaving my comfort zone. A day followed by the other, I had not taken a step toward the next level of myself and I didn’t plan too.
I remember how it was like to study based on the government curriculum and when I continue my education in another school‒ Liger Leadership Academy‒ I found a very huge difference of the curriculum. This has made me realized the reason that my interesting rate of study in government school is lower than in Liger. I only studied of whatever was in the textbooks, and did hands-on activities once in a blue moon. I found out that students would prefer to involve with more activities while they are learning because hypothetically, it is an effective way to bring the students’ attention in schools in order to maximize their comprehension to the lessons.
Cambodia, Kingdom of Wow! I believe that this country is developing everyday and the hope of our younger generation has no boundary. I am raised to be a change agent and I truly agree that even small actions can affect the future of Cambodia. It is our responsibility to shape this country because it relies on us. We don’t have to wait to be an adult to create improvement because changes do not begin with, “How old are you?”, but it actually starts with, “how good are you at witnessing the problem in your community?” However, the following up question that is the most important for all change makers is, “How will you solve it?”
Four years ago, Ministry of Education hosted the first STEM festival in Cambodia and yet, the festival remained to happen every year; I never missed a year to exhibit or participate at the event because I want to see as many projects as possible. During the first festival in 2015, I was exhibiting my Tech Support Exploration with my mates and the crowds rumored around our table amazed what we did. This year I was honored to present my self-balancing robot I engineered during my after-school activity. Beside exhibiting my projects, I observed others’ as well and I discovered that there were new faces from public schools, around my age, presenting their STEM projects.
Silent, that’s always been a part of me. I was never a person who likes to speak. Ever since I was young, I was a shy-introverted kid who got a list of things that I wanted to, which included helping my country. Sometimes, I even feel like it safer and more comfortable not to speak up. However, the thoughts about things I wanted to do are always stuck in my mind.
After joining Rabies in Cambodia, Solar Pi and volunteering for Khmer Sight Foundation projects, I realized that I have to get out of my comfort zone in order to become a better change agent. By joining these projects, I had to overcome my introverted personality in order to become the best change agent I could be.
You might not hear or know of Cambodia before, since it is such a small country located in the Southeast Asia region, bordering Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. I was born and raised here in Cambodia, a country in which used to have a remarkable history during the Angkor Empire, with rich nutrients and the great irrigation for the agriculture. We use to be “the diamond of Southeast Asia”. Though people had been suffered, losing their friends, family, and their life, from such a cruel time during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975 – 1979) – genocide. We had been losing our hope and ambitions from that brutal time. Our elders keep carrying those memories in their soul since it is unforgivable and unforgettable to them. Yet, today as our nation started to develop with the steadily growing economy, we are starting to stand back up and fight for the great future in front of us.