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Henry Prak

Vote for the Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist 2015 - Henry
IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist - Henry Prak
38 votes
Henry Prak
Occupation: Promotional Marketing
Age: 26
Home Country: United States

With fluency in Cambodian and English with conversational Spanish, Cantonese and Chinese, Henry is active in providing English tutoring to international students at his local university. Having previously taught English in Cambodia with IVHQ, Henry recognizes the value that his familiarity with the Khmer language and culture brings to a class of Cambodian students learning English. Through this scholarship, Henry hopes to return to Cambodia to build on this experience and further inspire a future generation of Cambodians. “I would like to educate the children and hope that they in turn, can continue educating others so that they spread the power of knowledge throughout the country,” shares Henry.

Why are you passionate about teaching English abroad?

I am passionate about teaching English. I believe that through education, and learning a valuable skill, it can further help kids whom are the future of a country, to find a better life for themselves, their families as well as increasing tourism and jobs for their country and help boost its economy when there are more skilled workers.

I am a Chinese/Cambodian-American male currently residing in Boston, MA. My family fled the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge era during the aftermath of the Vietnam War and came to the US to reside as well as starting a family. I was raised with Cambodian roots but growing up, I would constantly struggle trying to fit into America’s perceptive of normality whilst at the same time competing to stay true to my roots. I am a blessed individual to of been born and raised in America but I would like to go back and help Cambodia’s people. I would like to educate the children and hope that they in turn, can continue educating others so that they spread the power of knowledge throughout the country. This way not only can they help themselves but as well as others.

What experience/skills can you apply to teaching English abroad?

I am fluent in Khmer and English with conversational Spanish, Cantonese and Chinese, and currently tutor part time at my local university with students from overseas who need help with English or their papers.

I went to Cambodia with IVHQ last Summer to help teach children English so that I can help stress the importance of staying in school and that knowledge is power. With them I emphasized the importance of learning a useful skill so that they could find better jobs in the future. I think that it helped a lot that I could speak Cambodian and communicate with the kids in both Khmer and English. In doing so the children and I seemed to of bond more since we could relate to one another as well as taking a keen interest in what I was teaching them. Towards the end of my teaching, I went from teaching one class to about three classes since all the students wanted to see the teacher that could speak their language as well as what I was instructing. I fell in love with my culture and my students and would love to be able to go back and help educate others. I am a blessed individual to of been born in the US, now I would like to take all that I know and spread the power of knowledge to others as well.

I am a Marketing Manager and have traveled all over the United States working with big companies and clients. I speak in lectures of over 300 people or more as well as working event sites with over 50k people or more. I can easily handle stress and I do not easily become overwhelmed. I love rising up to a new challenge. I have taught in many workshops, and classrooms as well.

Why do you believe you will be effective in teaching English abroad?

Not only am I not afraid to go up for the challenge, but I do honestly believe that the children of a country are the future of the country, if future generations do not receive a proper education or learn a valuable skill then I am afraid they, alongside future generations, would be stuck in a life cycle that is unfit to be in.

Also l am a Cambodian-American, I understand the cultural insights of Cambodians as well as the country, I have previously taught English in Cambodia before. I think that by being able to speak the local language, I am able to connect more with the children and thus they become easier to teach since the children would be more eager to learn. The benefits of having a teacher that can understand a student’s question would increase the student’s likelihood of asking more questions so that they can better understand the material. The children, they want to learn, they are willingly to learn, but sometimes get frustrated because they do not understand certain things and it cannot be helped. By understanding the culture and knowing the language I believe that I would be a helpful addition.

What are you looking to gain from the experience?

I am not looking to gain much experience per se, but instead I am more looking forward to helping the Cambodian youth learning a valuable skill so that they can, in the future, find better jobs for themselves. In doing so, I hope that they are able to find better lives for themselves and their families instead of living in poverty. I hope that the students I teach and further educate those around them and thus create more opportunities to find better work and help boost Cambodia’s economy.

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IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Finalist - Cole BrianNext Volunteer Cole Brian

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