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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youth of the week: Chhon Pong

Youth of the week: Chhon Pong

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Whenever we hear or talk about the word “tourism”, we might imagine new and excititng places and big smiles on people’s faces, especially from tourism service providers.

However, behind their smile, there are many difficulties they need to overcome.

Chhon Pong, 23-years-old, began work as a waiter and then became a young trainer and operations manager for the food and beverage department at Don Bosco Hotel School.

Every-day, Pong takes on big responsibilities in managing and checking students’ progress such as food and drink services and management of  the cleaning service in the school’s restaurant.

“I often meet some difficulties while I am teaching due to the fact that I have less experience, and my family cannot afford for my study.

“Because of my bad living condition, I came to Phnom Penh to find a job and worked as a waiter at Paradise Hotel with a salary of $40,” Pong said.

From there Pong made a plan for his life that began from challenging himself to study at the Don Bosco Hotel School, which is a training center for education and tourism.

Since Pong already had a background in tourism, and  worked hard at excelling in his studies, he was known as an outstanding student.

He is not only good at theory but also passionate about putting that theory into practise - just a few months training at Sokha Beach Resort, Pong excelled and received an increase in his salary.

“What I have today has come from my struggle,” he said.     

In 2009, Pong changed to work as a trainer and operator manager at Don Bosco, after a suggestion from the director of the Don Bosco School. Pong said, “Changing to work here does not mean I get better pay, but it is a center that provides everything I have today.”

Pong added, “People should not do everything for money; I love education and I am really happy whenever I am able to share my knowledge to others.”

These days, besides working at Don Bosco Hotel School, Pong is also a third-year student and is majoring in Business Management at Build Bright University in Kompong Som province.

Pong said he will try his best to improve his knowledge, ability and get more experience, and he hopes that he will be able to use his own ability and experience to run his own business some day in the future.

“Even though my living condition is poor - I never give up, and I always encourage myself to strive for the next day.”

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