Class of 2024
Mey Srou is our fourth scholar at the University of Portland. When Mey was a child, her parents divorced. Due to stigma around divorced women in Cambodia, Mey was raised by her grandparents who supported her the best they could until she finished high school. Although she faced financial hardship during her studies, she persevered and earned an A grade on the National Exam. She was not able to start university right away because her family could not afford to pay her rent and daily living expenses in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Mey took a gap year and searched for ways to continue her education. Ultimately, she was awarded a full scholarship at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia as well as a dormitory scholarship at Advanced Center for Empowerment, which houses low-income students studying at universities in Phnom Penh. This achievement showed Mey that she can overcome any obstacle. When she moved to Phnom Penh, she began teaching English in a slum community, which opened her eyes to the poor living conditions of many Cambodians. Seeing the pollution and lack of sanitation in this community has inspired Mey to pursue a career in public health. Mey hopes to one day become a Public Health Officer in order to prevent infectious diseases.