One of the project that I involved in round four in the year of 2018-2019 is called E-Commerce. This is a project where we are working to create a website to sell the cookbook that some of our senior students have created as we continued to live in a senior years. Our goal of creating this website is trying to get donation for the students’ future education and gifting them with our lovely cookbook back as a thankful gratitude.
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
I am nearly 17 years old, but I still don’t know what or who I want to be in the future. Contemplating this, I feel so frustrated that the next step of my life is still ambiguous.
I got a four on my AP Statistics test — a test including topics like confident level, and experimental design. I was the main author of the first ever book about the Cambodian Economy written by students. I worked on the set of an actual feature film; I was a director, a producer, an apprentice audio engineer, and an actor. I write songs and create music. I implemented a project for the International Labour Organization, one of the United Nations agencies that promotes social protection and work opportunity, which taught entrepreneurial soft skills to Cambodians. I was also a featured speaker during my school’s Gender Summit, leading a discussion about how Khmer culture stereotypes men, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. On my school holiday, you can often find me problem-solving; I take the initiative to go out into my local community and direct traffic flow to enhance the safety of passengers. I do it from my heart. Additionally, I played football for the academy team of a professional Cambodian league, and these are just to name a few. As you can see, I have a diverse range of experiences, but I cannot imagine doing any of those for the next 10 or 20 years.
A lot of people have asked me what I want to be in the future or what my passions are, but I just shrug my shoulders and become speechless in the moment. Friends of mine have a clear vision of exactly who they will become in the future. Their passions are defined: engineer, scientist, artist, but mine is not. However, there is one thing that I know, even though I don’t know what I want to do, I know that whatever I do, I will work hard.
Sometimes, I ask myself: “How can I be a change agent for my country, let alone the world when I don’t know my plan for the future?” I have struggled with this worry; this topic makes me feel pressured. I understand that it is a priority to begin figuring out what I want to do because as a young adult, I feel like there isn’t enough time to be wasted.
I like to have a plan and be organized, but I also believe that life is interesting because we do not know what is ahead of us.
I have realized that I am just a boy who loves waking up on the next day not knowing what is going to happen. Living in this world peacefully. Enjoying nature. Bringing happiness and humor to my family and entertaining myself with my surroundings: sport, music, comics, movies. I have figured out that life is a gift and I do not intend on wasting it. Just because I don’t know my career path, does not mean I am not appreciative of the life I have.
I do genuinely worry about what I am going to end up being but I believe that hard work will bring people to victory. As Peter Parker says, “No one can win every battle, but no one should fall without a struggle.”
Even though I am struggling about this plan-making for my future, I am still dedicated to education; I want to go to college and get a higher education because I am convinced that it will expose me to a broader range of experiences and help me determine who I want to be.
In the seventh year of Liger, I and some of the Liger’s students, participated in an inspirational talk with Tony, who has traveled all the way from France to Cambodia with his bamboo bike that he created. This is my first time to see a bike made from bamboo, which really surprised me on the works that he has done. During his journey, Tony has interacted with a lot of people and also faced some challenges, but one important thing is that he does not give up on what he was doing, instead, he was heading to the final of the journey. Throughout the whole talk, one of the quoted that really caught my attention is, “You don’t need money to travel, you just need a big smile.” I started to realize that he made a lot of friends from traveling this journey because of being friendly because people are willingly to offer you something. Overall, I do think that the talk was very inspirational, which can motivate so many people.
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. One quote from Nelson Mandela was, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This quote has strongly made me believe that there must be some modification or supplement to the government curriculum in order to increase students’ preference in school.
On the school year of 2017-2018, I got an opportunity to be a part of the exploration called Primary School Curriculum Development. This is an exploration where the school named Bambujaya, hired some students from Liger Leadership Academy to be the educational consultants; with the job of creativily formulate the add-ons‒ the supplimental activities to engage the students‒ for the school. There were three rounds of this exploration: the first round was writing the add-ons for grade one, the second round was writing the add-ons for grade two , and the third round was writing for grade three. I was selected for the third round, which was working on the add-ons for grade three.
In class, I and the other six students were divided into three different teams to create adds-on for three different Khmer textbooks: Khmer Literature, Mathematics, and Social Study+Science. My major book that I was working on was mathematics, but I was also a small part for the other two books. It was very challenging since about 98% of our time in class was to just sit and figure out an original add-ons and write those down. Sometimes I have to keep myself motivated even though it was pretty boring by convincing myself of how important my work is for Bambujaya and also for the Cambodian students.
At the end of this exploration, everyone has their own products, which were those add-ons that have been written for the school. Some of the written add-ons has been created in multiple forms throughout filiming, and animating. Because those add-ons will be learned by the teachers, we required to have the meeting once every week with the curriculum developer of the school, Virak, in order to revise each person’s add-ons before putting those into the teachers’ guidebooks.
As a part of this opportunity, I felt like this exploration has enhanced my creativity and dot connecting skill through the process of creating those add-ons. For the Liger student, with the experience of what it was like to be the government school students, it allowed us to figure out what were missing in the government schools that can be implemented in order for Bambujaya to provided a better quality education.
Being a part of this exploration, I believe that I did create a positive impact toward the government school curriculum. Even though the school has not finished the construction yet, but I still believe that all of these works that some of the Liger’s students have done, is a potential change after the school is constructed.
Finally, as a change agent, changes that we created does not matter on the size; sometimes it is a struggle for us to start the action, but we ourselves need to be more optimistic to continue generating those changes toward the community. As Napoleon Hill stated, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
I have never believed that I am actually a part of the great music video. This was an amazing opportunity to be a part of and gain new experience. At first, I felt like I could not make any contribution to this film production because I found out that I don’t have any abilities in this field, which I was wrong. On the first of the work day, I was anxious of what I can do, but after having a conversation about my personality and what I’m interested to Ryan, the director, he has encouraged me to be a part of the music production. I was not sure what can I do because I only know play music from the actual instrument, but I only have a very little experience with the electronic music. Robin, my working facilitator, who is very skillful in this, has taught me the basic information which allowed me to understand how to use the program. This isn’t just the work for two people, but it was also involving with the musical students at PHARE, which is the school. We have recorded some beats from some of the traditional instruments and put in the computer to adjust and modify to make a music pattern so it would fit well for the film. At the end of the week, we had a final piece of what we want. All of the work such as film, music were finished in two weeks. Even though I wasn’t working for two weeks, I still found myself to to be a part of this wonderful music video. Finally, as the real music video come out, I found out that the film is very amazing. I was very glad to be involve in this marvelous production and hopefully, I can involve more of those opportunity.
On the 15th March, all of the Liger Leadership Academy students were participated in an event called Education USA College Fair. The intention for this events was for the students to find which college are they interested in based on the location, weather and some courses that are available in the university. There were 24 universities from America promoting their college. I have talked with most of the universities asking them about scholarship, the tuition fee, the requirement to apply for the university and many more questions. As I was having a conversation with each person that represent their university or college, I also tried to promote myself explaining them on what I have done such as writing an economic book, involve in Makerthon, taking SAT practice and some more work that I have accomplished. As I was talking, I noticed a university named Temple university, that I was really interested in, since they have the courses I like. It was an amazing opportunity to look for my interesting university and I hope I will become a student of one of those great universities in America.
During the 27th and the 28th of January, one of my exploration has created an event called gender summit. The event happened for two days, one was for English and another is for Khmer. There are many students from lots of school that participate in this event. The event was divided into four different sections which were Culture, Power, Economic and Language. My role of the event was the leader of the culture section. At first I’m afraid I’ll make people feel boring, but the moment was unexpected and I can actually made people felt engage for my section. I was really happy on both day because everyone was really engaged with the event and learn a lot from us. At the final of Sunday, which was for the Khmer students, I and my friend wrote a rap song talking about gender and perform on the last day. Everyone seem to enjoy all the performance and observe a significant knowledge from our group
On the 11th of February, I got a chance to join an event called One Billion Rising. It is very similar to a workshop, but there were a lot of entertaining action, which include singing, role-playing, dancing. A lot of people were participated including foreigners. I have observed many key points of the discussion. The most enjoyable part was to dance on the stage with an immense amount of people on the song named “Break the Chain”. There was a lot of fun during the event, which is a motivation for me to study about gender.
On the 16th January, 2018, my exploration group called that is studying about Gender Equity, went to Pannasastra University of Cambodia, with the intention of involving with the university’s students that is studying about gender. We got to listen about their perspective and learn some new ideas about gender. I remember a young lady where she won’t mind if their children want to play either boy or girl toys and let them be who they are and who they want to be. I also get to share my idea to them about gender role, and ask some discussion questions. It was such an amazing experience to participate in this section because I can absorb new information and new opinion from people
On the 2nd and 3rd of December 2017, I traveled to Siem Reap to joined a biking for 37 km and more excitingly, to participate in a half Marathon by running 10 km. The biking was on the 2nd of December and it was really amazing to bike through many obstacle like in the forest, on the sand, on the pebble, but unfortunately, on the last round my bike had a problem with a chain, which require me to adjust the chain back to its normal. This biking, I didn’t keep it as a competition, I just participated for fun and get ready for the running.
On the 3rd, which is on Sunday, I woke up at 3 AM to get to the main area for the Marathon. There are thousands of people that participated in the running include the 3 km, 10 km and 21 km. Before the run, I had an ultimate intention that my time for the running should be under 55 minutes. I started running at about 16 minutes later of the official time and my speed was super slow since the road is too small and I need to find the space for me to run. My first five kilometer is very slow, but my last five kilometers was pretty amazing. My running time was about 52 minutes, which I completed my goal and it was also a big improvement from two years ago.