Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Neath Ly

SHE-CAN Scholar: Neath Ly

Neath Ly is an incoming First Year student at Bucknell University. Neath grew up in the area of Steung Meanchey in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Being survivors of the Khmer Rouge, her mother didn’t have the chance to go to college, while her father strived to get educated despite living in poverty. Both her parents are working as government administrators with a minimum wage to support the family. Neath, a STEM enthusiast, put in a lot of effort to secure admission at “E2STEM,”  a prestigious STEM school in Cambodia, without having to pay tuition. Her time in high school fueled her passion for STEM.

Since middle school, Neath has always been active in extracurricular activities, especially in the STEM and entrepreneurship fields. Neath’s greatest passion is working with people with disabilities (PWDs). And in March 2023, Neath initiated a project called “PIKAR Hero,” which advocates for people with disabilities by providing digital upskilling programs. She organized and led a team of volunteers to successfully execute two projects: a Train-the-Leader Session, providing digital upskilling to persons with disabilities (PWDs); and a 2-Day Disability Inclusion Bootcamp aimed at bridging the gap between seven youths and five PWDs. 

On the topic of inclusion, Neath also co-led another project called “Yes I Code,” which provides free fundamental coding classes to students with intellectual disabilities (Autism and Down Syndrome). For the first phase of the project, she co-led a team of volunteers to run a 5-week program, teaching 10 teachers at a special-needs school about the fundamentals of computers and coding. For the second phase, Neath co-led a team of volunteers to run an 8-week program, teaching basic coding skills to 13 of their students with autism spectrum disorder (“ASD”) and Down syndrome. 

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Neath co-founded CamSEED, later renamed “Bondoul,” an organization dedicated to assisting university students in Cambodia secure paid internship opportunities, regardless of their socioeconomic status. After CamSEED ceased operations in 2022, Neath re-established Bondoul in 2023. Within a year, she and her team successfully helped 38 students secure paid internships with 19 local companies. Furthermore, Neath co-led an 8-hour educational boot camp for over 50 high school students in Mesang, Prey Veng Province, called “SPARK” through conducting workshops on effective learning strategies and college major selection. In high school, driven by her passion for advocating disability inclusion and bioengineering, she designed a bionic arm called “CybonicZ” for amputees, aiming to establish it as a non-profit organization in the future. She also served as a team leader for the New York Academy of Sciences “1000 Girls, 1000  Futures.” Additionally, she led her team to a second-place victory in “The 11th e-ICON World Contest.” Neath served as a technical lead in “Technovation Cambodia” twice, as well as being a member of Kampuchea Aerospace Exploration Aspiration (KAXA) to promote space engineering in Cambodia.

Neath’s strongest desire is to improve Cambodian people’s health and well-being through the use of biomedical devices, particularly for people with disabilities. As a result of an accident that tore the lateral collateral ligament in her knee, requiring surgery and leaving her with a temporary impairment, Neath has made working with individuals with disabilities one of her life’s most important works.


Academic Major

Class of 2028

Mentor Team