Welcome

Welcome!The struggles of poverty and domestic violence that I have experienced have become the major motivation that has pushed me to work hard and to become a better version of myself. Growing up, food was scarce, and life at home was difficult and often violent. I was a trash picker at seven at the Battambang city dump, scavenging plastic and glass materials to sell to the recycling firms for a few pennies.

My perspective about the future changed dramatically when I witnessed my mother’s attempt to take her own life. I was nine years old when I returned home from school to find my mother crying in the kitchen. She had a bottle of rat poison in one hand and a glass of water in the other. Her left eye was swollen, and she had bruises on her arms, resulting from another argument with my father. I convinced her to go on living, and I am grateful she is alive today, despite fighting the HIV virus she contracted from my father before he died in 2002.  After that incident, I became determined not to live the kind of life that my mother endured. This also fueled my interest in gender, human rights, and social change.

My immediate goal to earn an Associate Degree in General Studies at Montgomery College (MC) in Silver Spring, MD is coming to reality. My graduation commencement is May 22, 2020. I successfully raised a total of $52,500 to pay for my education and transportation expenses, and that thankfully to all my friends and donors. Kindly note that I have been contributing 50% of my work study earnings for a total of $19,567.

I have started applying to several 4-year liberal arts colleges in the U.S. to earn my Bachelor’s Degree. Since I have not yet been admitted, I am not yet seeking  donations for my bachelor’s program. I will not fail to inform you as soon as a decision is reached. In the meantime, I have reactivated my donation page and  am counting on your continued support to complete my Associate’s Degree studies.

Please click on the Donate Now button read my story and college plan.

Thank you for your interest and your support.

Phounam

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My BLOG Posts

Thoughts For a New Year and a New Decade!

As the new decade begins, I find myself wondering if the world is going insane. In 2019, the Amazon forest was on fire and at the beginning of 2020, Australia is on fire. Iranians are mad at Trump and it seems like WWIII is becoming a possibility. To me global warming is clearly a

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A Cup of Coffee

*This is a short story that I wrote as a part of the honor project in The Short Story Writing class, spring semester 2019.

The
sun is shining and the leaves are falling from the trees as Somali heads back
to school for the fall semester after a wonderful summer break. It is usually a
long commute

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Where is home?

I sit across
the table from Asa at Nando’s in Dupont Circle and said, “I can’t believe I
am back. Three weeks at home feels like a dream.” The word “home” referred
to my homeland, Cambodia. I visited “home” for the first time after
living in America for 3 years and 1 month. To be exact I stayed

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Epistemology of the Body Essay

Note: This is the first essay that I got 100/100 for Women’s and Gender Studies course in this Spring semester.

At the very beginning of the instruction for this essay, I am asked to “Start with a “DESCRIPTION”” of my physical body. At first, I thought that it should not be too difficult to find words

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Journal #4 in Political Ideologies Course.

Feminism is my favorite topic in this class. The history of feminism fascinates me because I am one of the many Cambodian women who grew up following the strict cultural rules that expected women to be proper and submissive in our male-lead society. In the book, “Political Ideologies,” the author, Andrew Heywood wrote that

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27th Birthday!

My number one birthday wish this year is for myself to stay mentally and physically healthy, so that I can continue my exciting, yet challenging life journey in America, the land of opportunities. I thank my ancestors, the spirits of my father, brother and God Buddha for keeping me and my family in a

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Let’s talk about Loneliness and Depression

I cried last night. I cried because I felt the pain that my friend had. The feeling might not be exactly the same as she felt, but trust me, I could relate to it.
Have you ever felt lonely? confused about your life, not knowing what to do or where to go? I am sure

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Oh! America!

Earlier this morning, I received a text alert from my school that the school delayed opening until 11am due to bad weather, which meant that all the morning classes were canceled. But, of course my classes were in the afternoon, so I had to go to school anyway. The school alerts are very accurate.

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My Co-workers

My co-workers are minorities. They are adults in their late 20s. Kalen is half white half black. Matt is Spanish-American and Traven is African-American. I am Asian. After leaving work, we agreed to get dinner together to celebrate the holiday season. It took some time for us to choose a restaurant since our budget

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LIFE

The world is full of mysteries. You may make plans for your life but you will not be able to control the unexpected events that can either tear you apart or bring you to joy. These unpredictable events come very often. Sometimes they come one at the time and sometimes they come as a

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An inspiring Sunday evening

Edmond and I went to listen to a talk by Amy Goodman. She is a journalist, a reporter, an advocate for democracy and social change in America. She founded Democracy Now 20 years ago. The program is now distributed to 1,500 TV and radio stations.
The venue was crowded with people of all ages. The

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Beautiful day at the school,

9:50am! Here comes, the one and only professor for Spoken American Language class. Dragging her bag across the hall to the classroom, she is bringing the graded papers for her students. She is a beautiful elderly professor who is originally from Brazil. She is energetic, caring and loving. She rarely disappoints her students unless

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Unexpected Result

 
Academic writing is so difficult. There are so many rules that students need to follow in order to get a good grade. Sometime I feel stuck when I have to write my first draft paragraph in class. I sometime stare at the computer for 10 minutes without knowing what to write. I panic at

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Day 1 at school,

 
The day that I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. My first semester at Montgomery College has just started today. I am a freshman now. I started my first day of class by taking the ESL test and I have two more tests to take tomorrow. Despite having many hoops to jump before I

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I told a lie to day!

I told a lie today!
I lied to a guy who sat next to me when I took the train back home. Because I didn’t want to sit next to him, so I lied to him that I had to get off the train at the next stop. I jumped out from that car where he was and

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First snow

I was so excited with the first snow fall in the US. Of course, I’ve been to Europe many times for the tour but I had never seen the snow falling from the sky. Yesterday was the first snow fall in DC; I was thrilled and couldn’t keep myself from running outside and dancing

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Happy New Year 2017,

Dear Friends,
As the end of 2016 approaches, I wanted to personally let you know how much I appreciate all the support and encouragement you have given me.  To all the generous persons who contributed through my website, you made my first fundraising program a total success: we raised over $11,600, well above my $10,000

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December!

Welcome December, the last month of the year. This time last year, I was in Cambodia, performing under the big top and rehearsing for the New Year’s Eve event at the 5 star hotels in Siemreap.
December this year, I am in the US. I’m living my education dream. Yesterday, I went to Montgomery College

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My Thanksgiving weekend.

My first celebration of Thanksgiving was wonderful. The Turkey and the traditional foods were delicious. I was invited to a dinner party at one of my host’s best friend’s home. I met new friends and had a nice talk about a variety of topics; culture, arts, politics and the different life styles between America

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