“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It can’t change without changing our thinking” – Albert Einstein
My name is Bopha, a 14-year-old student at the Liger Leadership Academy, Cambodia. I was born and raised in Kampong Cham province (located on the central lowlands of the Mekong River.)
As I grow up, opportunities are very rare in my community. Students are told to be in school to study, write a lesson, do homework, listen to the teacher and hold curiosity inside. It was normal that way because it has always been like that. One day, I pass a test to learn at the capital city of Cambodia and that is when I change perspective about what normal education I used to have.
A second chapter and a turning point of my life were I was willing to take a risk by coming to the capital city alone to study at this boarding school. There were many opportunities and all of them are equal to both genders. I was reminded to ask questions to fulfill my curiosity. The astonishing part of it all is to see the truth and what is more more than just lessons. I was able to go to different places around Cambodia and outside the country, interview people, understanding the different culture of indigenous people and many more.
“CREATING A BRIGHTER FUTURE BY REALIZING THE POTENTIAL OF A PROMISING CHILD’ is a statement of the mission in Liger Leadership academy. I learned that education isn’t about learning about theory but rather implementation and experiences. For the first 3 years in school, I am a change agent by changing Cambodia in many different ways. Those change can be small but big changes are made from small changes. To me Liger isn’t just a school, it is a family. This experience creates impacts on me and my society and will remain for the rest of my life.
Programming, app development, reading, drawing, communication and to try new things I’ve never or out of my comfort zone are my main passions and motivation in life. I am a person who will take a risk and explore things I know might change my perspective after trying it. Imagination is a major key to creating and being who I am. I am also very curious about time traveling and if the universe will end at some point.
Creating art, in general, is undeniably one of the things I enjoyed most in life. I believe that art can reflect my soul. I can have a canvas that never rejects my ideas and imagination to display on the paper as a piece of my soul. They can deliver a message without any words and still be a connection of visuality.
Changing perspective is one of the most important things I can learn in life. One of my best examples is about Programming. When I first learn about programming, it was one of the hardest subjects I’ve known. Fortunately, from time to time, I try to look at other perspectives like coding. I joined programs called technovation that allow girls to develop an application to change the world. Eventually, I enjoyed programming and spend a lot of my time learning a different programming language and app development. User experience and user interface in-app is also the motivation to display my innovation and creativity in technology.
I would like to say to all people to be brave to try, win, failed and appreciate yourself and other people around you. Life will never shine if you never walk through darkness. Live a life that pleases you not to please other people. Changing the world might not be an easy task but an important one that needs you to be a part of it.