Sammie Gay Neill Williams Scholarship recepient for the Fall 2017 semester
Name: Korleyan Khem
High School: Weatherford High School
Why did you choose Weatherford College? The college being in our town is good for me as I can save money by living with my parents. Also my brother just finished attending there. I saw that he saved a lot of money, and by staying here he was able to obtain a high manager position with the job he has had for the past four years.
I look up to him a lot, and I can see that his decision to go to a community college was very smart. I have a job as well that I have started in the beginning of year. Things are looking good for me as many of my managers have told me they are planning higher things for me at work. So by going to Weatherford I can save more money and most of all stay with my parents for the remaining time that I can before I transfer to university.
What are your career plans? For years I had wanted to become a veterinarian because I loved animals and I knew it would be a stable job. My parents are immigrants from Cambodia who escaped from the Khmer Rouge, so I am eternally grateful for all that they have done for me to help and support my education and needs. I want to give back by pursuing a career that would deem me a success and wanted them to know that their daughter was going to have a stable future.
It wasn't until the end of my freshman year of high school that I decided that it wasn't really in my mind anymore to become a veterinarian. I thought I was lost in my decision for what I wanted to do for a career. I did although do photography on the side as a hobby. I never thought of it as a pursuable career because of the very competitive aspects. But I found myself loving it more and more everyday as I took pictures.
Self-portraits have become my specialty and it has open my eyes to the world of fashion. I want to start my own clothing brand, advertise with my photography, and I aim to be a well-known fashion photographer. With the idea of having my own brand, I want to take pictures for high-end magazines and work with fashion models. It all really sounds like a dream, but I am not one to sit back and hope that just something happens. It is my dream and I am striving for it.
I know everything is possible with hard work and passion. In the past two years I have been awarded many medals for my photography. One most recently being rewarded Best of Show in the Weatherford Student Art Show. That has been my biggest achievement yet. I don't aim my goals for the money or the glory, but to pursue something that I love.
How is your scholarship impacting your life? I don't have much money saved because I just got a job in the beginning of the year, and I also don't want to depend on my parents to help me pay for college. Because they are immigrants they don't have the best of jobs, but it has let them live this long and support four kids. So being able to know I have some money to help me start college has enabled me to start saving and raise more money.
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