My name is Yoon. I am Karen, one of the minority ethnic groups in Myanmar. I am the youngest among four siblings. I have two sisters and one brother. The others are all married and living in Myanmar.
When I was 13 years old, my family moved to Mae Sot, Thailand, because of the political situation in Myanmar. After finishing grade 6, I had to leave school in Myanmar and continue my education in a migrant school in Mae Sot called Children’s Development Centre (CDC).
My parents both passed away the next year, when I was just 14 years old. After that, I had no one to support me until I was able to contact my uncle. He agreed to support my education until I completed grade 12.
During high school, I enjoyed participating in school activities and was a member of a Karen student organization called Oasis. I participated in Karen dances and other performances.
After I finished high school at CDC, there was no one to support me. Fortunately, I was able to get a paid internship at the Mae Tao Clinic for seven months. I also worked part-time in a coffee shop at Mae Sot International Airport on weekends and volunteered to teach Burmese to the foreign staff and volunteers.
During my internship, I took an entrance exam for the General Educational Development Program at BEAM Education Foundation and was accepted into the program. When I arrived in Chiang Mai to study at BEAM, I faced many challenges finding the necessary money to pay for dorm fees and living expenses.
Fortunately, I received a partial scholarship from CDC that covered my GED exam fee and living costs. For the school fees and educational visa fee, I borrowed money from Mae Tao Clinic. Eventually, I completed the GED program successfully. This year, despite the COVID crisis, I was accepted by Mae Fa Luang University (MFU) to study Business Administration in Chiang Rai.
- Age: 22
- Ethnicity: Karen
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Mae Fah Luang University
- Bachelor’s, Business Administration
- 1st Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become an HR manager
- Repay those who have helped me overcome losing both of my parents
- Loan Amount: $2,150
- Amount Left To Fund: $1,875
- Contract Duration: 11 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Yoon
After my parents passed away, I had a very difficult time. I was forced to take care of myself and stayed in the dormitory until grade 12. I did my best to stay strong and fight for my future. I love to sing in my free time and enjoy designing dresses. My strengths are that I believe in myself and never give up on my dreams.
My weakness is feeling sad about having lost my family. Fortunately, I always meet good people who are willing to help me. One day, I hope to pay them back by helping others who have faced difficult situations like me.
Hopefully, I can use what I learn from my program at MFU to become a human resources manager. I really enjoy working in this field, and if I have a chance I will apply for a management role and manage a department in the future. A university education can give me the business and management skills I need to succeed.
To conclude, I would like to be a great leader for my community and help the next generation of students. I have faced many challenges in my own life, so I understand others who have little or no parental support and hope to help them as much as I can. Although I don’t have parents like most of my friends, I will never give up. I will do what it takes to earn a higher education degree.
Written by Yoon with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I have faced many challenges in my own life, so I understand others who have little or no parental support and hope to help them as much as I can. Although I don’t have parents like most of my friends, I will never give up. I will do what it takes to earn a higher education degree.”