Education First Cambodia's Women Scholars Program empowers highly talented female university students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to get a degree. The young women, among the brightest in the country and also among the poorest, come from remote rural areas far from the universities in Phnom Penh. Their impoverished families, who struggled so that their daughters could complete high school, are unable to support their daughters’ continued education so far from home.
With Education First Cambodia’s support these young women attend the most respected universities in Cambodia, most focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields in which women are typically underrepresented. Education First Cambodia also provides its Women Scholars with computers and computer training, extensive training in English, and weekly training on critical thinking and life skills. In addition, Education First Cambodia provides its students with essential medical and dental care, vaccines, educational outings, and the opportunity to live in Education First Cambodia's dormitory.
The combination of the young women’s intellect and drive, together with the support and skills they receive from Education First Cambodia, will allow these women to excel in Cambodia’s rapidly changing economy and beyond. And Education First Cambodia does all this for less than 2% of what it would cost to support a university student in the United States.
“When women do better, countries do better, communities do better, and families do better.”
Mark Green, former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development
"Few forces change the world so much as education and the empowerment of women."
Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
Click here to see a 9-minute video that gives an overview of Education First Cambodia's Women Scholars program.
With your support, Education First Cambodia continues to expand:
- Education First Cambodia currently supports 31 students in its Women Scholar's program and has 54 graduates of that program.
- In 2021, Education First Cambodia began its Essential Support Program, which supports additional female university students who worked hard to make it to university but face particular hardships by paying their university tuition. Education First Cambodia currently supports six Essential Support students.
- In 2019, Education First Cambodia established a dormitory and leadership center where its Women Scholars can live, study, and bond into a network that will support each other throughout their careers. Education First Cambodia also uses the leadership center to expand the critical thinking and other training it provides, assist the students to find career-building internships, invite speakers who can both educate and inspire, and help the brightest of the students secure scholarships to pursue graduate studies overseas.
"Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to help such keen students who want to progress despite the barriers they face."
Hindpal, Volunteer Tutor for Women Scholars
Education First Cambodia is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all contributions are deductible to the maximum amount allowed by law. Education First Cambodia has a Platinum rating from GuideStar.org, an organization dedicated to evaluating nonprofit organizations and ensuring nonprofit transparency.
We welcome your support! Help us give new lives to these talented young women.