Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Sochea Chhay

SHE-CAN Scholar: Sochea Chhay

Sochea attends Beloit College. On campus, Sochea is one of the executive board members of APSA (Asia Pacific Student Association) which aims to promote Asian Pacific education and diversity. This club is focused on educating the campus community on the Asian Pacific social, and cultural issues and events, and providing advice and assistance to international students in adjusting to a new environment. 

​Sochea was born in a small community in Siem Reap, a rural province of Cambodia. When she was four years old, her parents migrated to work as factory workers in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Even though her family encountered many challenges, she is grateful for her parents’ unconditional support and motivation. Sochea is the first person in her family to pursue a college degree, and she wants to use her education to empower marginalized people and bring Cambodia towards self-reliance.

Sochea is particularly passionate about gender equality and women’s empowerment. She spearheaded a project called “COVID-19 and Women Vulnerability” with support from Transparency International Cambodia. This project raised awareness of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Cambodian women and girls. She organized two virtual panel discussions that brought together students, youths, and stakeholders from different organizations (such as USAID, Pact Cambodia, and the Cambodian Center for Human Rights) to discuss inequality, women’s skill gaps, and the impact of COVID-19 on women’s economic livelihoods and social wellbeing. Sochea was invited to share her insights with Cambodia Women’s Radio, where she talked about the youth’s role in responding to and preventing the Covid-19 pandemic. In the future, Sochea hopes to initiate more projects in her home country to empower more girls to be powerful leaders.

This past summer, Sochea worked tirelessly on her Make A Change project titled, “Women’s Water and Sustainable Livelihood in Cambodia.” Along with this, she also did a part-time internship with Plan International Cambodia on integrated nutrition, early childhood care development, and the WASH Program. Plan International Cambodia is a non-profit organization that strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. They’ve been supporting children, especially the most marginalized, to realize their potential since 2002. Sochea’s work focused on research and assisting with projects that aimed to improve hygiene, nutrition, and sanitation in rural communities.

Highlights From Sochea’s Past Work Experience:

  • Sustainable Channel Assistance, Beloit College 
  • Assistant, Student Engagement and Leadership at Beloit College
  • Intern, U.S. embassy in Cambodia 
  • Intern, Plan International Cambodia

Dean’s List

GPA: 4.0

Languages Spoken: English, Khmer, Chinese and Elementary French

Sochea Chhay Beloit College SHE-CAN scholar

Academic Major

Quantitative Economics and Minor in Mathematics
Class of 2025

Mentor Team

Paula Gorman, Senior Manager Customer Operations, Formation
Kimberly Steffen, Senior Marketing Manger, Johnson & Johnson
Manjula Shivanna, Data Scientist Leader, Cisco
McCall Renold, Senior Manager of Strategy, Athleta
Lindsay Kresch, Director of Strategic Partnerships, CultureSync
Chantal Veale, Human Potential Coach, iPivot Professional Coaching