Girl Who Grew Up In Garbage Dump Graduates Valedictorian And Earns Scholarship At A Famous University

In the garbage dump, working at a very young age to earn money for her family, Sophy Ron’s future looked bleak.

Yet she recently graduated valedictorian and is on her way to Australia to study on a scholarship she won from the University of Melbourne! That’s amazing.

In Cambodia, Sophy lived in the Phnom Penh garbage dump. In the garbage dump, she and her family spent every single day looking through trash for something to sell, just like many other children. To ease her hunger, she has a few coins and some food to munch on at the end of the day.

When the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) rescued her from the garbage dump, she was already 11 years old. She soon caught up with the others and excelled in her studies despite being unable to attend school as a child.

Sophy was able to leave her life in the garbage dump behind with the help of the non-profit organization.

As a brilliant young lady, she graduated as valedictorian from Trinity College and went on to receive a full scholarship to the University of Melbourne.

The girl from the garbage dump was nowhere to be seen as she gave her valedictory address in fluent English. Despite this, the young woman has not forgotten her past. Before starting a new semester at the University of Melbourne, she plans to return to Cambodia to spend time with her friends.

Sophy, congratulations! Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground…


Valedictory addresses are speeches given by class valedictorians. There is usually just one valedictorian in elementary and high schools – the student with the highest marks in school, sometimes including points for extracurriculars.

In college, this can be a bit tricky if many students receive the same highest honors (for example, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude), but schools often choose the candidate with the highest weighted average. The aspiring valedictorians may even ‘apply’ for the honor, with a committee selecting the winner.

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