Student Portrait

My name is NP. I was born into the family of a poor humble school teacher. I have two sisters. We were brought up in a small, beautiful home with our caring parents in Hpakan, Kachin State, Myanmar, a peaceful, helpful, and religious community that together with my father taught me to serve others. Even though my mother did not get an education, she is the one who always encouraged me to pursue my education so that I would not be like her and could help many others like her. She is a passion of mine and one of the reasons why I am who I am today.

Since I was a teenager, I frequently had a chance to teach my younger sister and her friends while my father was teaching older students. In other words, I have loved sharing my knowledge with others since I was in a state school. My teens in Kachin State were full of temptations like alcohol, money, and drugs.

Drugs were the most popular temptation for young people in Kachin State, and I lost many friends in high school because of them. Based on my experience, I learned that staying outside the classroom one can easily become the victim of drugs. My loss of many good friends showed me the important role of schooling and education in life.

After I finished my university matriculation exam, I moved to Yangon where university education and safety are better than in my hometown. I stayed with my uncle, who is a pastor. There I helped with various housework and volunteered to teach grade eleven students at a poor and small church named Myintha Church in a grassroots community of Yangon.

After one year living in Yangon, I joined the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (BARS) program at the Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT). During my five years in Yangon, I continued volunteering at Myintha Church as an English teacher and facilitator for grade eleven students.

 About NP

  • Age: 32
  • Ethnicity: Kachin
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Assumption University
  • Master’s, Educational Administration & Leadership
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Establish an English language learning center
  • Found a vocational training center for at-risk youth

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $2,725
  • Amount Left To Fund: $0
  • Contract Duration: 11 years
  • Status: In Repayment (Late 90)


What Others Are Saying About NP

Even though I could not go to the war zones and teach civil war victims in Kachin State, I enthusiastically participated in creating mobile libraries with my friends at BARS for students and people in war refugee camps in Kachin State in 2012. The mobile libraries helped me discover my passion for education for my fellow citizens and allowed me to understand my future career goal.

To pursue my career goal, I attended English language classes at Cetana Educational Foundation with a Cetana scholarship. In 2012, I started volunteering both in the administration office and in classes at Cetana Educational Foundation. I also became an English language teacher for the junior learners at an evening program Cetana offered. Furthermore, I created a summer school at Grace Church in Chiangmai, Thailand, in 2011, and served as an English teacher and Myanmar language teacher for migrant Burmese children in Thailand for five summers.

Currently, I am studying the first semester of a master’s degree in educational administration at Assumption University in Bangkok. After finishing my studies, my first plan is to fund an English learning center based on my mother church in Myitkyina, Kachin State. The target of the learning center will be youths, and it will provide them with English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. These four skills in the 21st century are some of the most important necessities to continue higher education and enter professions. My learning center will be connected with Cetana in order to send hard-working students to Yangon to be able to gain higher education in bigger cities. I will also create vocational trainings and communicative English language programs for at-risk youths and young hard laborers in order to create better job opportunities for them and help them avoid using drugs. I believe the improvement and success of youths in the learning center in a few years will change the concept of parents and interest of young people that money is more important than an education. In addition, I will definitely upgrade the mobile libraries that my peers and I started into well-organized church-based libraries that help educate people and help learners expand their knowledge. I believe that the knowledge I gain from my further study at Assumption University will allow me to upgrade the younger generation’s education and the attitudes of people about education in Kachin State.

Written by NP with editing assistance from Annie K., one of Zomia’s volunteer editors.



“I lost many friends in my high school years because of drugs. Based on my experience, I learned that staying outside the classroom one can easily become the victim of drugs.”



“Even though my mother did not get an education, she is the one who always encouraged me to pursue my education, not to be like her so that I could help many others like her. She is a passion of mine and one of the reasons I am who I am today.”

Q&A With NP

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
My proposal night
How would your friends describe you?
NP (Nice Person)
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Playing the guitar
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Become a father
Where would you most like to travel?
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Beef BBQ
What’s your dream job?
A school leader
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Working for many people