My name is Hay Bunham. I am 22 years old and I am in my third year of studying medicine. I come from a family of moderate means in Kompong Thom province, but my parents still have to work hard to support my studies at university.
In 2015, I graduated from high school and came to Phnom Penh to start my university education, knowing nothing about the place.
In 2016, I joined ACE. This was for two reasons. First, the prospect of having a free place to stay and secondly, the chance to learn about leadership. What I didn’t realize was that there was so much more to ACE than that. Having lived at ACE for one year, I am very familiar with how life works here, and I have discovered new things about myself. You may be curious as to what I mean by this. ACE helped me to get to know myself better through leadership training, volunteering in many fields, living with different kinds of people and, most importantly, not only teaching me about leadership but giving me the chance to work as a leader. From these invaluable opportunities, I learned how to put leadership into action. At ACE, I volunteer as a health coordinator at four centers, caring for 800 students and parents, as well as being a teacher, photographer, filmmaker, team leader and a president of the Rotaract Club of Phnom Penh Metro which is an international group of people who volunteer to work to serve the world. Through these experiences, day by day I learned to be more mature and a real leader for the future.
Having completed 398 hours of service, I was honored to be made a resident of the year 2017. It is not only a dream come true to have the chance to live at ACE, I also really want to help grow ACE so that it can help even more young Cambodians become the leaders of tomorrow. I sincerely thank ACE for providing this empowering place for poor Cambodian students. I really don’t want to leave ACE, but I am sure I will come back to ACE one day to carry on doing my bit for the place that helped me and continues to help so many others.