Greeting, my name is Yerny. I’m 17 years old almost turn 18 this December. I have 5 siblings’ one boy and four girls and I’m the oldest of them but all of us lives in different houses. Since my parents got divorce since I was 1 year old I was adopted by my grandma, aunt and uncle. Now, I still lived with them but my grandma passed away so, in the family just the three of us, my aunt, uncle and I. my dad he lived a bit close to me but mom’s house is about 2 kilometers from where I lived. Even though my life begin with a bad starting point, I’m still grateful for all the achievement I could have today. Ok, now let start about my education. I attended a Primary school near my house in 2006 which is named Hun Sen Wat Kampot Primary School from grade 1 to 4. To be honest I love education since I was little. Not like other kids around my age, I seem to be the most school loving person than others. Every school day I’m always excited and always counting hours to go to school. Another interesting thing about my primary school life is the minute I step foot in fourth grade, I have this one little passion to become an educator because I saw my fourth grade teacher she such a loving, caring, and motivating person. She is a great model to me. She shows me that life as a teacher is not always worst like what other think and having a job as a teacher would be the best gift granted to a human being. And since that moment I have that one little mind and start loving a job as an educator. Oh! I forgot to state about where I’ve learned English. Even though I don’t live with my dad, both my aunt and uncle wants me to have a brighter life than this. They putted me in a part time English Class and I started learning English since I was in Second grade. This means my English life also begins when I was little.
Half way through my fourth grade year, I was approved by the Embassy of the United States and received a visa to live in the US. It was the four of us, my dad, step mom, step brother and I going to have an opportunity to live in a new land hoping to find better life than in Cambodia. My aunt, who had lived in the US before the Khmer Rouge has started adopted us and take great care of us in the new land. Life in the new country are not always great and many obstacles lies ahead. First I was put in ESOL class because of my English speaking is still low. Being in ESOL class is fun but also hard at the same time. I don’t really understand what the teacher is talking about when she instructed me to do something. Communication between us seems hard for the first month of class but both I and my ESOL teacher could understand each other by doing sign languages and she try to speak Khmer also. I’m glad I met her. So, from that point on I attended a Public School in Fairfax County. From fourth grade to sixth grade I attended Shrevewood Elementary School and for my last year in the US which is seventh grade, I attended Joyce Kilmer Middle School. Within both school I’ve received many certificates and awards. One of the most important and meaningful award to me was the Student of the Year Award. Not all could be awarded and the Principal only picked two students to receive that award per year. I remembered that special moment, the time my named was called up to receive the reward. I didn’t believed my name was announced. With excitement and nervousness a Sixth grade girl walking in front of hundreds of people to the big stage…I never forget that moment. And so on…life in the US came to an end. I came back to Cambodia in 2012 and continues studying. My life journey has a lot of twist and turn, obstacles up and down but I do appreciate all the lesson and experience I got from it. I’ve learned to live a life away from home, push through all the bad and good moment and knows that life is a journey. It depend on you to choose how life could be. If you make it difficult it will be difficult but if you set on easy mode, then definitely it will be easier than the difficult mode. Before I end a short story of my life, speaking about the family condition today I still lived with my aunt and uncle. School supplies, money to go to school every day, clothing and other supplies my aunt and uncle is the one provided me. My dad only provide some time but most of the time my aunt and uncle provided it. Now a day, since my high school is close to home, my aunt gave me 2000 Riels full day. This amount is enough for me. As usual, I ate breakfast from school and the money I received each day are to save up for things I wanted to buy. I rarely ate snack at school. So, when I save up enough money I would go to the book store because I’m a big fan of books and on my free time I like reading especially books about history and self-development. Now I try my best to study Arabic at my high school because I want to have better education than this. If I get good grades in Arabic test I will be able to apply for a scholarship to study in International University of Africa. I’m so excited. Ok… that should be enough about me.
Take a look at why I loved working with kids. To be honest, kids and I have a very special bond. It take a very short time for me to interact with kids. It is fun to work with them and I never feel old when I play with them. I think that kids, especially in Cambodia should have great chance to get education. I’m really happy that Marjory Project provide a non-profitable English class and no charges to the kids. Most of the students I met had talk to me about their life and what they do to earn money because their family condition is poor and the money their parents gave each day is not enough for them. They told me that sometimes they have to pick up the soda cans or doing chores for the rich people. I think that after kids participate in learning English at Marjory Project their future will be brighter. Marjory Project not only teach kids English but hopefully they will become better citizens and be part of the community. And hopefully they family condition will be better than today. Not to guess but I will says that definitely kids who participate in Marjory Project will improved much and better than what their life are facing today. Peoples who knows how to speak English will get better chance in finding jobs.
Before I end this story, I would like to thanks Marjory Project for creating this wonderful program to help kids in Kampot Area. I would like to see more project like this in our area or could create a short session to teach youth about the important of Education and why everyone should study English because education is very important especially to youth. One other thing is I would like to see computer program in session or any program that gather both kids and youth together. They could learn lots of things from each other. I’m not asking much but I’m hoping to gain more experience with working with Marjory Project and its fun working with kids.