Wedu and Rising Stars at CGI 2015!

Wedu was honored attend our second Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City this September. Find out what we were up to!

We are so proud that our Rising Stars Barang Phuk (R) and Chhorvy Sun (L) joined us at CGI 2015 alongside amazing Wedu mentors and our Wedu founders! 

Barang helped lead a thought-provoking discussion called “Youth Speak: Pivotal Moments That Encourage Positive Youth Development.” Barang presented her firsthand experience with the lack of education in Cambodia and shared her best practices to support and empower youth with an impressive audience of CGI members. Here is her experience of the inspiring event:

“Speaking in front of a large group of people is not easy, especially if those people are big bosses of big and successful companies. However, public speaking skill is something that we can improve on from time to time. With the support I got from my Wedu mentors and the preparations that they helped me with, I was not nervous at all when I was at the front of the crowd. I was one of the speakers in the youth session and there were around 50-60 people in the room. The audience was mostly the CEOs of different companies as well as the founders of different types of NGOs. Those included If Hummingbird FoundationInside ImpactGlasswingFamily Alliance, and many others. I got a lot of contact information from the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, and I am going to send an email to those wonderful people over the weekend because my current Wedu mentor taught me that sending somebody an email is a good start for building partnerships and alliances with other people.

At the Youth session, I talked about some of the challenges that youths in Cambodia faced and the challenges that I myself faced. One of the challenges I mentioned at the session was about education system in Cambodia. I informed the audience that Cambodia has a poor education system, and many youths from the countryside of Cambodia do not usually go to school because they have to help their parents work on the farms. Some of the youths do not have an opportunity to go to school due to domestic violence and most of the time encounter mental problems. Additionally, the problem that I face is to get older people listening to the ideas of the young people, including myself. Older people in Cambodia often believe that they are smarter than younger people and therefore youths have to listen to whatever they say.

At the Clinton Global Initiative, I also met one of Malala’s friends and her name was Shazia Ramzan. I got inspired by her story because it shows me that she is a strong advocator for girl’s education and she is definitely a future true leader. I want all girls to be passionate about girl’s education and to be as strong as her. I hope that the Wedu Rising Stars will be as strong as her too.

Besides the experiences above, I also built relationships with the Wedu faculty working in the United States. I have realized that participating in the Clinton Global Initiative improved my public speaking skills, confidence, and communication skills. This conference helped empower me to be a stronger leader for the future that will work to improve and increase women’s leadership and the education system in Cambodia. My note to other Wedu Rising Stars is to look up for these kinds of opportunities and apply because it helps you develop your leadership skills that are necessary for you to use in the job environments. It is also a great way to form friendly relationships with many other successful people.”

We are proud to stay true to our CGI commitment of unlocking the leadership potential of 1,000 Rising Stars by 2018 by providing lifelong mentorship and innovative financing options to achieve higher education. Until next year!

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