| Sep 27, 2023
Thanks you for Making Dreams Happen!
Dream student in our Public Speaking Contest
Dear PEPY friends and community,
We hope this message finds you well and that you have been having a great week so far! The PEPY team has just returned from our bi-annual staff retreat recharged and ready to provide the best services to our program participants. The retreat was a great opportunity for the Dream team in particular, as they are aiming to make significant programmatic changes and needed the opportunity to come together and review their plan and strategies.
The Dream team is working on an expansion plan to add over nine additional high schools in our target districts and in additional districts that we have recently assessed. Our proposal is in the final stages of review and if accepted, a significant portion of our current program sites' budgets and the entire expansion effort will be covered! This would mean that PEPY would be tripling or even quadrupling the number of students we support each year by 2024. We are very excited to help thousands of more young people build their confidence in themselves, identify their dreams, and stay in school in pursuit of a better future.
None of this would have been possible without your support! Currently, Varin High School's Dream Project is desperately underfunded. Without your donations, we would not have been able to continue our activities in Varin this summer and we would not have attracted the interest of the local partners who are now invested in us bringing Dream to more high schools in need. Thank you for helping our expansion and for enabling our hard-working Dream team in Varin to continue their crucial work.
Before you go, we wanted to share a recent community story with you!
Meet Phat: Phat is in his last year of study at Varin High School. He has four siblings and is the third child of a family of farmers. Phat first joined Dream Class in 2020 when he was in Grade 10 during the COVID-19 pandemic. He only got to attend one in-person class before lockdown started and then the classes went online. At that time, Phat did not attend class regularly because he did not feel confident to express his ideas and felt disconnected from the class. After seeing how much Dream benefitted the seniors, Phat tried to be involved in Dream Class every week. By August 2023, his attendance had been 100% for the last two years!
Phat shared, “From 2022, I committed to be involved in Dream every single session even if my family wanted me to help them in the rice field. I rejected them to focus on Dream after class. [By] joining Dream Class, I understand how to have self-confidence, teamwork, and scholarship opportunities. Through Dream Class, I hope to get a scholarship to continue to higher education at the university.”
In the future, Phat wants to be a math teacher to share the joy of math with the next generation. He would also like to become a historian as he feels passionate about sharing Cambodia's story. He told us, "Learning is the best gateway for our life."
Your generosity has helped students like Phat believe in themselves and work towards their dreams! Thank you for supporting our work and we look forward to sending you more updates in the coming months.
Kathryn and the PEPY Team
Phat, a Grade 12 student in Varin High School