Makara Poy '24
Makara was born and raised in rural Cambodia. The daughter of a policeman, she is a top scholar from SHE-CAN (Supporting Her Education Changes a Nation)–a non-profit focused on helping young female scholars from post-conflict countries access educational opportunities that will give them the tools to be a force of change in their home country. When Cambodia's Minister of Education expressed concern that young people did not know enough about economics, Makara was nominated to write and publish a Cambodian Economics book in both Khmer and English. The book was recognized by the government and distributed to secondary schools throughout Cambodia. It has since been developed into an interactive website–cambodianeconomy.org–on which Makara continues to contribute articles about Cambodian currency and the importance of microfinance opportunities. Makara is also a passionate advocate for gender and LGBTQ+ equity in Cambodia, which has a traditionally conservative culture around these topics. She hopes to address the lack of dialogue within her culture about these topics. She regularly conducts workshops in her community on gender-based violence and has presented at the US Embassy.