Every year, through Holt’s donor-funded university sponsorship program, exceptional students in Cambodia receive scholarships to attend college — including full tuition, English classes and a $30 monthly stipend to help cover additional expenses. Most of the students come from rural impoverished communities, and most are the first in their families to attend college.
This year, despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduating class included five Holt scholarship students! The pandemic delayed final exam and graduation dates, and required students to finish their courses online. But these five students persevered — graduating with bachelor’s degrees in fields as diverse as engineering, tax accounting and social work, and going on to secure full-time employment with companies and nonprofits in Cambodia!
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 Holt Cambodia scholarship recipients!
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As a student, Chantrea interned at Cambodia Organization for Children and Development (COCD), Holt’s partner organization in rural Kampot province. Upon her graduation, COCD immediately hired her as a full-time social worker! She now works directly with vulnerable children and families in Holt’s donor-supported family strengthening program — providing counseling, support and resources to help parents earn a more stable income and keep their children in school. In five to ten years, Chantrea hopes to work in a nonprofit leadership role — possibly as a provincial coordinator or even an executive director. She would also like to earn a master’s degree to strengthen her social work skills and knowledge.
Ary graduated with a bachelor degree’s in accounting from Cambodia’s National University of Management.
As Ary ranked among the top ten in her class, she was selected to write a thesis to complete her degree requirements instead of sitting for her final exams. She now works for Holt Cambodia as an administrative and finance assistance. She hopes to eventually secure a position in tax accounting, which she specialized in during university, and one day she would like to run her own business. Once she earns enough, she also hopes to support her brother and sister so they too can attend university.
Vithu successfully defended his thesis in August 2020, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Technical Training Institute of Cambodia.
Vithu now works as a full-time site engineer and with his income, he can now afford to help his brother study at a technical college in Phnom Penh. Vithu hopes to pursue a master’s degree in engineering and possibly study abroad in Japan or Korea.
In her role, Rachana helps empower young people to actively participate in environmental and cultural protection issues, which are particularly meaningful to her as a person of indigenous heritage. To support her youngest sibling’s college education, Rachana helps provide school materials and pocket money. She also hopes to support the education of other young people in her community by advising them and helping them earn scholarships of their own.
Before graduation, Devi interned with Holt Cambodia, working with children and families in Holt’s family strengthening program in Battambang. She briefly worked in case management and counseling at another nonprofit organization that serves vulnerable women and girls, but when a position opened up with Holt Cambodia, Devi applied. She now works as a social worker in the Building Bridges to Families program in Battambang — a grant- and donor-funded initiative to build up the social work capacity of area orphanages, investigate children’s backgrounds and ultimately reunite them with their families.
In the countries where Holt works, so many families need help covering the costs for their children to attend school. Here’s how you can help:
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