Vanika Sok studies at Lafayette College. Vanika grew up in rural Kampong Cham Province at a teacher training college where her father worked. Vanika and her family lived at the college until 2007, when they moved to Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat. Starting in a new province with nothing was challenging for their family, but her mother still sent Vanika to school. Her mother knew how important education was, despite having been forced to give up on her own studies because of societal pressure to marry young and become a housewife. Vanika recognized the sacrifice her mother made and studied diligently, maintaining strong grades through high school where she was ranked as the top student in her senior class. Because of her stellar academic performance, Vanika was selected as the class monitor. In high school, she also founded a Study Club and met every weekend to tutor her friends and peers who were struggling in Math, Chemistry and Biology. Outside of school, Vanika has contributed to her community by working as a volunteer youth at Women’s Crisis Center where she helped women who suffered from domestic violence and sex trafficking, raised awareness through events that educate the community and incoming tourists.
After graduating from high school in 2020, Vanika was awarded scholarships from four different universities. She’s very excited to be continuing her education at Lafayette.
Vanika wants to be a change-maker and inspire all women around the world to take up leadership positions. For her SHE-CAN Take the Lead project, Vanika chose to conduct a virtual workshop on the importance of fighting against cyberbullying. She has witnessed many of her peers being bullied online, especially young girls, a problem that was further exacerbated during the pandemic when virtual communication became the norm. Vanika is passionate about helping girls engage in leadership roles, learn about the power of technology, and step into their power to change the world.