Student Portrait

My name is Jonathan. I was born in Myanmar. I am the eldest son in my family and have two younger brothers. Now we all live in the Thai–Myanmar border area. I arrived in Thailand when I was 12 years old, so I have already been here for more than eight years. Because of the difficult situation in Myanmar, my family fled the country and came to Thailand. My parents wanted a brighter future for us, so they took a risk and committed their lives to a Karen refugee camp.

My mother works as a teacher at a high school. My father is also an education worker. We were brought up well by our parents. They wanted us to be educated and always encouraged us to become good citizens and leaders.

Even though we lived in the refugee camp, we went to school, got a good education, and had good relationships with other people.

With the encouragement of my parents I was able to continue my studies at Minmahaw Education Foundation after graduating from high school. Now, after receiving a diploma from Minmahaw, I have the opportunity to continue my studies in a university. I’m sure that my parents are proud of me, and I’m also very happy that I haven’t disappointed them. My brothers are still studying in high school and are also very intelligent.

I have learned many things from experience. They have made me a more mature person and give me strength. Experience has been the best teacher for me. While I was a Teacher Training College (TTC) student, I had to do practicum teaching at schools. In my first year of TTC, I did my practicum at No. 6 High School in Mae La Camp.

 About Jonathan

  • Age: 28
  • Ethnicity: Karen
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Chiang Mai University
  • Bachelor’s, Social Science
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Become an education administrator

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $6,950
  • Amount Left To Fund: $3,050
  • Contract Duration: 13 years
  • Status: In Deferment
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Jonathan, in his own words

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This is the school where I graduated, so I was very excited to work as a teacher there.

I had to prepare lesson plans and activities to do in the classroom, talk to the students individually to know more about their backgrounds and needs, discuss with the assistant teachers, and observe the classroom. Every day, I had to do reflections that recalled the memory of my daily work. I had to say in which part I did my best, in which part I had weaknesses, and how I could improve my teaching for the next time. During my practicum, my teacher came to school and observed me. The last thing I had to do was submit a report to my teacher. It took a month, and I struggled a lot for my practicum. It was the same with No. 7 Middle School which was my second year of TTC. The advantages that I got from it were getting to know the students and teachers.

Most people have dreams. People dream to become rich or to become leaders or to become someone with authority and power. People try hard to reach their goals. There are many challenges and hardships while trying to reach the goal. So, it needs to be a person who can make the best decisions and stand firmly on what he or she believes to achieve those dreams. I dream to become an education administrator who works for the students in Myanmar. I want to be the one who can make a way for students to get more opportunities in education.

Most of the people in my country are in poverty because of a situation which makes the rich people get richer and the poor people get poorer. There are many people who cannot continue their studies because of the high tuition fee of universities. People are starving and crying and waiting for someone who can comfort them and help them meet their needs. Therefore, I dream to become someone for those people, and I will try to fulfill my dream. I hope my dream will come true one day, and I therefore hope someone will support my further education.

Written by Jonathan with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.



“When I get my degree after four years of study, I believe I will be able to get a good job in the Education Department or in an NGO, so I can effectively serve in any area where people are in need.”

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Lend to Jonathan

The son of a high school teacher and education worker, Jonathan aspires to become an education administrator in Myanmar who works to increase students’ access to education.

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Q&A With Jonathan

Survey Fun

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Where would you most like to travel?
The White House
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
I’d play the grand piano
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Playing violin
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
How would your friends describe you?
What is your favorite memory?
My family memory was enjoying Halloween with teachers, friends, and children

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Posing Atop Doi Inthanon

On a Zomia student outing