Ek Pichmony receives a cheque for $3,000. Photograph: Heng Guechly/Phnom Penh Post
Meet Ek Pichmony, 22, a fifth year student at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC).
She’s a major in Chemical Engineering and Food Technology and also a term 9 student at University of Cambodia, majoring in English Literature.
She won a scholarship to both universities after proving herself as an outstanding physics student in school. Now she is known for her hard work at ITC and UC.
She has been in Vietnam for the past week taking part in a summer camp in Danang organized by the Agency of Francophone Universities. She’s also going to Japan later this year to take part in a conference on air pollution and waste management.
Last year, she was named as one of the top ten in the National SME Business Plan Competition 2011, organized by Pannasastra University of Cambodia for her idea to use Moringa powder as a tea and food supplement. Her work even took her to Ghana, Africa, for the International Development Design Summit, organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In 2009 she won a scholarship of US$200 from the French Embassy and was awarded a silver medal in the debating championships at UC. She was also invited to take part in a debate forum about wild life in Cambodia at TVK, organized by the Ministry of Environment.
The next year she was selected to participate in the University Summer Camp in Nha Trang Vietnam, organized by Agency of Francophone Universities.
Despite all her success, she almost gave up her studies at the start. Faced with difficult work, she was tempted to move back to her hometown in Battambang province.
“I used to think I wanted to give up the study. But then I thought, as I tried so hard to get the scholarship, I had better try my best to finish my bachelor degree.”
She has even bigger aspirations for the future.
“In the future, I want to be a consultant of food quality and food safety for food industries as well as a lecturer at ITC.”