From Our Scholar Blogs:

Mey’s Winter Break

Mey’s Winter Break

Scholar Mey Srou, a freshman at University of Portland reflects on her experience over Winter Break. 
Are you curious about how I spent my time during my winter break? Having successfully finished my fall semester at the University of Portland, I visited two of my mentors, Mariana and Charlene, for three weeks in California. It was such a fantastic experience for me to explore and learn more about American culture. Spending 
my winter break in the glamorous city of San Francisco faded all of my sorrows and worries away. It was hard to say goodbye to this beautiful and amazing city. 

I flew from Portland to San Francisco. The moment I landed, my heart beat so fast as a sign of delight and pride because finally I could visit my dream place and meet my other mentors. That was the first time that I met my mentor, Charlene. She picked me up from the airport and she asked me a lot of questions about my academic performance and how I adjusted to the new environment and food in the US. 

During my first week, I went hiking at the Pulgas Ridge Hike. It was a three mile hike. Although it was a bit exhausting to finish because it was my first time, it was definitely worth it.

During my second week, I spent a whole week enjoying the Christmas celebrations. Mariana hosted me at her mother’s house where I had a chance to  meet and befriend her siblings. I received a warm welcome 


First hike at Pulgas Ridge

from her family, and we stayed there a couple days. I fell in love with the Vacaville neighborhood because it is a hilly area where I could walk around enjoying the gorgeous view and getting natural fresh air. It was super relaxing.  ​​

Exploring Vacaville


Meeting Mariana’s family

During the last week of my winter break, I finally had a chance to visit my dream place, the  Golden Gate Bridge. On the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, I could barely hold back my tears because I was too delighted to see the iconic bridge. I have wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge since I was young, and now I have! More importantly, it was fun walking on the amazing bridge with one of my SHE-CAN sisters, Sythong Run who was staying nearby with her mentor.

Visiting the Golden Gate Bridge with Sythong

Before heading back to Portland, I joined an intensive leadership training camp, organized by SHE-CAN. This leadership training gave me time to reflect on myself because I encountered many obstacles during my first semester at UP, and I sometimes lost myself. All of the speakers were knowledgeable and amazing, and I was inspired by their meaningful speeches. At the end of the training, I feel more confident in myself and gained many key take-aways which I can use to strengthen my self-confidence and leadership skills.

Mey with her SHE-CAN sisters Sahas and Rosie at their UP apartment

Moving back to UP this semester is also special because I am not living alone anymore. Here, I have two other SHE-CAN sisters living in an apartment with me. The three of us had so much fun together before the spring semester started. We enjoyed cooking Cambodian food and spending time walking around campus together. 
I am so grateful to my mentor team who made my winter break trip happen – they are always nice and supportive to me. Overall, I would describe my winter break experience as great, memorable and meaningful.