Class of 2023
Chakriya Ou or “Riya,” is a sophomore at Gettysburg College. Riya hasn't declared her major yet, but is interested in working in education, economic development and women’s empowerment. She particularly wants to help girls from rural areas of Cambodia pursue higher education and make a powerful impact on their society. In her first year at Gettysburg, Riya has already gotten involved with numerous clubs such as the International Gettysburgian Network, the International Affairs Association and Model United Nations Club, and Alpha Phi Omega. She was selected to represent Gettysburg at the National Leadership & Diversity Convention and was selected for Gettysburg’s President Advisory Group for Inclusion and Belonging.
Before joining SHE-CAN and coming to the U.S., Riya organized a fundraiser to buy basic study materials for 47 primary school students back in her hometown in Kampong Cham province, Cambodia. She was also a member of the Youth and Women Leadership Program organized by TIC (Transparency International, Cambodia) in which she initiated and organized trainings for youth about the importance of their participation in community development. Because of her outstanding participation in the program, Riya was selected to go on a study tour to Malaysia with TIC officers and she was also invited to be the guest speaker on the Cambodian radio show called “The Outstanding Girls” to talk about her involvement in social activities. Riya is passionate about fighting against the belief that young women in Cambodia should only aspire to be housewives and hopes to inspire fellow Cambodian girls to pursue higher education.