From Our Scholar Blogs:

Bay Area Vacation Q&A with SHE-CAN Scholar Sreytom Tim

Bay Area Vacation Q&A with SHE-CAN Scholar Sreytom Tim

The SHE-CAN staff chatted with Scholar Sreytom Tim, rising sophomore at the University of Minnesota, about her recent trip to the Bay Area where she spent time with Barbara Bylenga and three of her mentors: Trigg McLeod, Kathy Kanno Wood and Melinda Stephenson. She flew to San Francisco on May 31 and returned to Minneapolis on June 11. This vacation was a nice break for Sreytom before she began her two summer classes – Human Sexuality and Macroeconomics.

This was Sreytom’s fourth visit to the Bay Area, and she spent most of her time in Marin and San Rafael. Some highlights from her trip included: Attending two lunch meetings at the Mercer office in San Francisco and the Torani office in South San Francisco, watching a couple NBA Finals games with her mentors, seeing “Wonder Woman” and attending the Union Street Fair with Kathy, getting pedicures and ordering Thai takeout with Melinda, going to the bookstore with Trigg and buying a book related to one of her classes, seeing Barbara Boxer give a speech at Nourse Theater with Barbara, and attending a dinner at Julie Abrams‘ house, Chartine Iraguha’s mentor, where Sreytom gave a speech and guests asked her many questions.

SHE-CAN: What was your favorite part about your vacation?

Sreytom: I like to hangout with my mentors. It doesn’t matter what activities we were doing. I like to spend time with them at the kitchen (cooking), to have a conversation with their family and to have conversations with my mentors regarding our personal and academic lives. It was great that we went to see a movie together so we can discuss the movie and link it to other topics. Also while I was enjoying my time with my mentors, I was so glad that I could do something for SHE-CAN like meeting and talking to SHE-CAN scholars, mentors, staff and donors.

It’s important to me to go to SHE-CAN events because I can make a contribution to SHE-CAN’s growth and development – especially helping to raise more funds which means SHE-CAN will have more money to recruit more scholars.
SHE-CAN: What was your favorite part about the Torani lunch meeting, and did you take the lychee syrup home or another flavor?

Sreytom: It was my honor to share my story with them, and it was a great chance to get to know and learn about those powerful and successful women. I had a great opportunity to have a short tour at their industry operation which was my first time and felt amazed. I got a chance to taste lychee syrup from Torani, and they gave me a bottle of peach syrup.

SHE-CAN: At the dinner party at Julie Abrams’ house what kind of speech did you give and what types of questions did guests ask you?

Sreytom: I gave a short speech about my life story, my short personal background and what it looks like to be a female in Cambodia. Then they started to ask me about: How I’m doing at school? Did I make new friends? How’s my family back in Cambodia? How was my second semester? How do I balance between my culture and American culture? How do I feel about SHE-CAN sisters and mentors? How SHE-CAN helps me? and so on.


SHE-CAN: What did you think of Barbara Boxer’s speech? Did it inspire you in any way?

Sreytom: It was a great speech because it helps me to get more understanding about U.S. politics and how people think about it. It was a really inspirational speech because she’s such a powerful woman. She’s Jewish and she has been involved in U.S. government for more than three decades. She’s a great model who represents the Jewish community, and she broke a line of gender inequality. I feel as a woman we can do what we want and we can be what we want to be.  

SHE-CAN: What did you think of the NBA Finals games? Do you like basketball and have a favorite player from the Golden State Warriors?

Sreytom: I think it was so intense and competitive. I like basketball a lot, and I want to take a basketball class or get involved with a basketball team in the future. I saw some guys in that team who stood out to me but I didn’t know who’s who since it was my first time time watching that team.


SHE-CAN: Did you check off any bucket list items of yours on this trip to the Bay Area? If so, what were they and how’d you like them?

I did check a few off my list such as updating my personal and academic life to my mentors and getting an update from them as well, going to street fair, trying new food, seeing favorite movie with my mentors, attending SHE-CAN event and so on. I like it so much because it helps me to strengthen my relationship with my mentors and helping SHE-CAN out.

​SHE-CAN: Did this vacation to the Bay Area help you relax before you start your summer classes?

Sreytom: It was really nice that I have a short vacation that helps me to get away from academic life for a while. I used my time in SF to refresh my brain and to construct a new plan for the new school year. I cannot imagine myself focusing on academics the whole year without any breaks.
Sreytom pictured after speaking to guests from Mercer in San Francisco, where their office launched and won a $2,500 fundraising campaign for SHE-CAN last month!