Scholarship Program

PEPYcambodia (9 of 14)

Offering scholarships to bright, young students is an attractive proposition. What better way to support education than ensuring young people are inspired and supported to continue their studies?

PEPY Empowering Youth provides university and vocational training scholarships for students from Kralanh, Srei Snom, Kampong Thom, and Kampong Leaeng districts. A majority of those who receive scholarships are from our high school Dream Classes. Scholarships include 3 years of tuition to universities and vocational schools in Siem Reap, a bicycle, use of a computer, and 1.5 years of a living allowance and access to healthcare until they get jobs to support themselves. Scholarship students also attend PEPY’s Learning Center in Siem Reap for at least one year, which provides English, technological, and soft skills (presentation skills, CV and interview techniques, cultural exchange, leadership, confidence building, creative learning) to prepare them for a rapidly evolving labor market that increasingly requires these abilities.

In order to ensure that PEPY’s impact is felt more broadly in our target populations’ communities, Scholarship students are required to plan and implement community projects during their time at PEPY (for example, last year, one group of students researched health issues in their communities and implemented health and hygiene workshops to youth and families in their community). More broadly, our Scholarship Program encourages students’ peers, families, and younger children in these communities to see the tangible results and value of pursuing an education and dreaming big about the job opportunities available, both locally, nationally, and internationally.



By May 2018, 117 students have received PEPY scholarships. Of those, 98% have either continued in their tertiary studies or found skilled employment.

According to surveys, almost all students have reported increased confidence, motivation, and skills due to their access to the Learning Center. Employers have consistently mentioned the unique readiness of PEPY Scholarship recipients for their jobs, notably due to their flexible ICT and English skills, high confidence, and versatile critical thinking abilities.

Each scholarship promotion has successfully researched, designed, and implemented community projects. Additionally, each group has attended at least 3 networking and/or skill-sharing events.


Challenges / Lessons learned

  • The scholarship project was implemented as a pilot project in 2012. At that time, none of the Kralanh High School graduates passed the necessary examinations to qualify for scholarships needed to progress to further education. We realized that merely offering scholarships was not enough, but that students needed support through high school to achieve their education ambitions. This is the reasoning behind offering Dream Classes to grade 10, 11, and 12 students.
  • In 2014, due to major countrywide changes to the High School National Exam, there was a very high failure rate nationally and as a result the number of scholarship students accepted for the 2014 intake was less than anticipated.
  • Today, the biggest challenge for the Scholarship Program is ensuring that students have the energy to both integrate the skills taught at the Learning Center and have time to study properly at university/vocational school. From student feedback, staff learned that Scholarship recipients were exhausted from being at the Learning Center from 8:30AM-5PM, having university classes from 6PM-9PM, and studying for the rest of the night. As a result, teachers reduced the amount of homework and adjusted schedules to give students more break time in the evening.


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