Articles

Liger Leadership Academy 2018


Liger was built and started really to
reimagine international aid. We started Liger six years ago
and the challenge was to create students who are game changers in Cambodia. At
Liger it’s a special world. It’s a place where people can explore themselves and
create positive change within the community, All of our students are
already little leaders – they’re 13 or 14 or 15 but they’re already inspiring
everyone around them. And I get goosebumps even now just talking about
it. This vision of investing in the right few for the benefit of the many is
really coming true I knew Dalin before Liger had started, I
had met her through other work I was doing. She was in a children’s home. You
just knew that she knew there was something else – she didn’t know what it
was but she was curious. Today I went to my old school and where I lived for like three years before Liger It’s called Who Will Village. I realize
that I’ve been very privileged to have this opportunity because I was just like
one of them, I didn’t know about technology or the range of career
options out there. I didn’t know my potential. So I was born in Phnom Penh, I
grew up in Phnom Penh my whole life. I grew up in a family of four. Before Liger
I went to this school so I would just go to class, listen to the teacher, watch the
teacher write notes on the board and then copy it down, do the homework at
home, repeat. That’s one of the special things in Liger, that I get so
many opportunities that it helps me to discover who I am. That’s what I really
want to do in life is have an impact on people or on Cambodia, like being
change agents We had our goal which is to create
positive change agents for this country and we were able to fit and still are
fitting our curriculum around that goal. So that means, you know, we are a very
different sort of school. We are residential, we are project-based
experiential which means we go out, we connect the children to real life. Their
projects that they do are connected to real issues, to real challenges If you’re going to be a change agent if
you’re going to be a game-changer, you’re going to be a leader, why not just
practice being a leader as you learn the other things that you need for secondary
school? So we’ve really combined the idea of leading and changing things along
with regular schoolwork. We have a strong focus here at Liger Leadership Academy
on STEM, that is science, technology, engineering, math curriculum. We’ve taken advice from business leaders, entrepreneurs to really create these
lifelong skills that our students really need. I’m 14 years old
and I’m an entrepreneur because I’ve been involved in one of the business
called Journeys of Change. It’s a bike tour business where the Liger students are
the guides and we’ve written the business plan for this whole business.
10% of any population is designated as gifted but these promising children who
are out in the provinces somewhere in Cambodia, how they ever going to realize
their potential? We have 110 students right now but there are thousands and thousands and thousands more out there that need us, that need
you. They need for people to invest in them, people need to sit up and listen
and understand who these young people are and the ethics and the empathy they
have and the vision that they have for their country, and I think if we can
replicate that it’s not about one country and it’s not about these
students it’s so much bigger than that

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