A young lady who toiled as a child at a garbage dump in Cambodia will soon attend the University of Melbourne on a full scholarship.
At 11, Sophy Ron had never attended school, having to work at the Stung Meanchey Municipal Waste Dump in Phnom Penh — a landfill covering some 100 acres (40 hectares) — to help support her family.
One fortunate day, she was found by the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), a nonprofit committed to transforming the country’s “most impoverished kids into tomorrow’s leaders.”
With the help of the organization, Ron managed to study at Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, where she graduated as valedictorian last month.
Ron, who once spent every day of her life “knee-deep picking through noxious trash,” stood in front of her fellow graduates and delivered a closing speech in English.
“I was very excited but very nervous,” she said after the event, according to CCF. “The event went very smooth. It was awesome.”
In recognition of her inspiring success story, Ron received a full scholarship to begin her undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne.
She is currently back in Cambodia for the term break, celebrating her success with loved ones.
Ron’s story has moved people on social media, with many congratulating and wishing her more success in the future.