Panha Uses Mentorship to Advance His University Studies
Panha is one of ISF’s most dedicated students. He’s currently receiving our support as he studies in university with a dual major in English language and Architecture. His mother, Chenda is also very much involved in our organisation. She runs an ISF community library in one of the urban poor communities we serve. Panha’s continuing drive and desire to improve has led him to also take advantage of mentorship offered by our partner, Linklaters.
Once a month, he communicates with a member of Linklaters staff. Their mentorship helps him navigate the path through education to employment. When Panha first met his mentor, he admits to feeling a bit shy and nervous to talk to them. Although through frequent online communication, Panha’s confidence in spoken and written English has grown. The skills he’s gained from his mentoring sessions have also made him more comfortable when working in groups of classmates for school projects. In terms of ICT competency, Panha has become more familiar with email and video conferencing platforms. When asked how he will apply these skills to his studies, Panha replied, ‘Using Gmail, I can easily send completed assignments to my lecturers and communicate with my classmates without having to come to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. I can also learn online, discuss assignments with my classmates, or even make video presentations.”
So far, Panha has had three helpful mentorship meetings. He’s learned strategies for winning scholarships to study abroad and requirements for certain universities outside Cambodia. Linklaters staff also recommended that Panha focus on completing his first year of university before thinking about applying for a scholarship. They also assured him that they will offer support when he works on scholarship applications. When asked if the advice helped him, Panha enthused , “What they’ve shared is very useful for me. Now that I have the scholarship information, I’m inspired to work harder at school. Sooner or later, I’ll get it.”
Last time we spoke to Panha, he revealed that his dream is to study architecture in a foreign country. He wants to learn advanced building techniques and bring them back to his homeland. Panha’s ultimate aim is to synthesise modern engineering practices with traditional Khmer architecture to craft a new and unique style.
According to Panha, his mentoring sessions have helped him revise his higher education plans for the better. He’s taken the advice to heart and intends to apply abroad only after he completes the first or second year at his current institution.