Vicheda Narith was born and grew up in Battambang Province, Cambodia. Growing up in a rural province, at 15, she convinced her family to let her move to Phnom Penh City to continue her education, improve her skills, and gain more opportunities. Once there, she took advantage of all her new surroundings had to offer and excelled in her coursework. Vicheda graduated high school and scored in the top 1% on the Cambodia National Exam. She was elected Classroom President and Youth Council Member throughout high school. She helped her classmates improve academically, assisted teachers’ workloads, handled expenses on the school’s facilities, and made monthly reports.
Vicheda started two community projects, one of which was her “Take the Lead Project” (SHE-CAN note: “Take The Lead” is a community service project every SHE-CAN scholar completes before coming to the U.S. for college), called Rodov. The team she formed published a book in English and Khmer and developed a Facebook and Instagram campaign to ensure young women can access accurate information regarding menstruation. Moreover, Vicheda is a Generation Future Program of UNICEF Cambodia mentee. Her project, Wander in Tech, is created to provide digital education and teach website development to high school students. With this, Vicheda was spotlighted in the article “A Pioneer Opening up The Digital World for Cambodian Girls” for International Women’s Day 2023.
While being exposed to new technology in the city, Vicheda discovered her passion for STEM. She believes that computer technology has developed many solutions to present-day problems and that by gaining deeper knowledge in this field, she will become a problem solver. Vicheda is excited to continue her education in the U.S. and hopes to use what she learns at Northwestern University to find the most convenient and fastest solutions to the issues Cambodia is facing. By doing so, she also hopes to become an inspiration to young women in Cambodia to be more confident to explore, dive into opportunities, and be active in their community.