Piseth knows all about making the most of opportunities and the value of a second chance.
The former CCF student is employed in his dream job as a graphic designer with a goal to one day start his own business in the fast-growing IT sector in Cambodia.
I got really good experience, working and teaching, which made me very happy
ut Piseth, 24, failed the crucial National Exam when he was in Grade 12, which students in Cambodia must pass to attend university,
He feared that his ambitions would never be realized. But with our help and taking a different route, he made it happen.
At school, Piseth always had a passion for computers,
So we arranged a three-month internship for him at an animation studio where he learned about drawing, graphics, production skills and software, with on-the-job training.
Vocational training and work internships offer our students the opportunity to gain skills in real-life situations, and a pathway to meaningful employment. We support students during placements.
Not all our students want to go to university or, like Piseth, would benefit from more hands-on experience to build careers.
During his training, Piseth returned to CCF’s Neeson Cripps Academy to share his knowledge with students, running a short course about animation. It’s a great example of our ethos here at CCF of giving back and passing it on to others.
“It worked out really well for me,” says Piseth.
“I got really good experience, working and teaching, which made me very happy.
“When I didn't pass the exam, I felt that I was missing out on going to university like my friends but later on, I realized that I was fine. I have skills now, I have knowledge and work.”
Thanks to the skills he learned, Piseth was able to gain a job.
He’s been working as a graphic designer for a cosmetics company for the past three years, responsible for everything from designing marketing material and content for the website to creating animations and taking photographs.
Piseth joined CCF in 2010. He was one of the original ‘bakery students’, as our founder Scott Neeson affectionately calls them - children who learned English at night classes held in a bakery in Steung Meanchey where CCF vocational students were being taught.
Piseth began lessons in the bakery at the same time as Vannita, a 10-year-old girl from the local village.
Both went on to join CCF’s educational program full-time and started lessons in a proper classroom instead of the bakery, which has since closed. Piseth attended our Toul Ampil school.
Vannita is now studying at the University of Melbourne in Australia as one of our Trinity Scholars. You can read Vannita’s story here
Piseth still lives in the Steung Meanchey area with his mum, 61, who was widowed seven years ago and earns enough to support her.
“I cannot imagine how my life would be now without CCF’s support,” he says.
“I did not know what I would have done. I didn’t do well academically, I was poor, and chances would have been limited for me. It would have been really hard for me to find work and earn money.
“Without CCF, I would not get the skill, the career, that I have now. I am very grateful for the opportunities that I was given.”
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