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Student of the week: Nara Sokhema

Our student of the week will receive a $50 voucher from Boston Books. If you want to nominate a student or friend, email

In addition to being one of five young Cambodians selected to join Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI), Nara Sokhema is also a young leader who has already participated in a number of community service projects and trips to represent Cambodia abroad.

After graduating from Sisowath High School in 2008, Nara Sokhema went on to major in economics at the University of Cambodia (UC) as well as being one of the beneficiaries of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Vision 100 Scholarship and the International Study Program at the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL). Along with her busy schedule at school, she is also a core member of Initiatives of Changes Association (ICA), the vice president of the Youth Development Committee at Khmer Youth and Social Development (KYSD) and co-leader of SUNBURST Youth Camp Alumni.

In July, Nara Sokhema will attend SUSI, a five-week program in the United States that focuses on environmental issues.

In November last year, she was among 500 Southeast Asian students to join Youth Engagement Summit (YES) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In August that same year, she travelled to South Korea to attend Youth Camp for Asia’s Future with students from 22 other countries. In December 2008, she joined SUNBURST Youth Camp in Singapore, which was her first trip abroad. In Cambodia she was named a Young Ambassador for Volunteerism and received the honor of being the outstanding first-year student at IFL, with a 3.91 GPA.

Having experienced plenty of success, Nara Sokhema said that, like everyone, she has also faced failure. She confronted many obstacles before achieving her substantial achievements.

“It is not about failing but learning from our mistakes to develop ourselves.” she said.

Pech Sovantheary, Nara Sokhema’s mother, said, “[She] always trusts her ability, has strong commitment and a clear plan for what she is going to do. As a mother, I am so excited that she is on the way to reaching her goals.”

In the future, Nara Sokhema plans to apply for other exchange programmes and pursue a master’s degree in international development and economic analysis so that she can fulfill her goal of becoming an economic analyst.

“By putting my experiences together with my degree, I hope to make a big change in my country,” she said.



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