Five CCF students gathered in a packed room waiting patiently for an announcement that would change the course of their lives forever

Two CCF students will be leaving for Australia in March after winning scholarships to study at Trinity College Melbourne. They will have the opportunity to take a foundation year at Trinity College before going on to complete a bachelor’s degree at the prestigious University of Melbourne.

After a tough round of entrance exams and interviews, the students were whittled down to the final five: all of which are girls in their final year of high school at the Neeson Cripps Academy.
Today the wait was over and the two successful students were announced: Yem Sovannry, 18, and Seng Hoarng, 19.

Taking to the front of the classroom to accept their certificates and to make a speech, they both remained calm, choosing to take the opportunity to thank their teachers and to pass on their advice to fellow students.

“Just go beyond your limits because you never know what you will achieve,” said Sovannry to her peers.

“Learn from school, your books, your teachers, everything around you. Education is a long term investment, it is going to pay off in the future… You have got to dream high,” advised Seng Hoarng.

These two young leaders will embark on the next chapter of their lives, 4,000 miles away from their current home in Steung Meanchey, an impoverished area of Phnom Penh, to the bustling city of Melbourne, Australia.

Moving away from home presents an exciting opportunity, but they are quick to assure their fellow students that they won’t be leaving CCF for good.

“I promise to come back and share with you my amazing journey at Trinity College, and please keep in touch with me if you can,” said Sovannry.

Sovannry, a student known for her hard work and ambition, says she is ready to take on a new challenge:

“I feel excited and nervous at the same time because it’s going to be a huge year and it will be challenging to go by myself. I will be with friends of course, but it will be a totally new environment and I will be meeting new people and exploring Melbourne.”

To their comfort, Sovannry and Seng Hoarng won’t be the only CCF students in Melbourne. Last years winner of the Trinity College Scholarship, Sophy, is finishing up her foundation year and excelling in her new home. Read more about Sophy’s remarkable journey here.

CCF prides itself on providing opportunity for all. It is scholarships like these that provide CCF students with the opportunity to follow their dreams and to fulfill their potential as leaders.

Despite the difficulties that they have faced in life, Sovannry and Seng Hoarng are on a pathway to success. The challenges they face now as they enter into higher education, are the same as any other teenager around the world.

“My biggest challenge will be food. I don’t know how to cook,” said Sovannry.

CCF will be following the journey of these students closely and they will have the full support and encouragement of everyone at CCF.

Alice Brown/CCF

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