Learning Compass will focus on the recruitment of underprivileged high potential children, from the age of 15, who don’t have the financial opportunity to finish upper secondary school. Our aim is to finance these last 3 years (grade 10-11-12) of school and to provide continuous financial support for studying, either vocational training or university to achieve a degree. Learning Compass gives commitment to the children recruited, that they can finish their studies.
The students selected are committed and with high potential. Their families take the chance of financial support offered with great gratitude and stimulate their children to pursue their studies.
Learning Compass will monitor study progress and results closely with the student, teacher, school head and our partners through developed monitoring tools. We make a contract with the student, which includes arrangements and frequency of contact between student-school-Learning Compass (at least after every school report).
Thanks to our partnership with Philanthropy Connection (PCF), who works closely with local schools and minorities, which helps us find this hidden talent. Piyawat was recommended to LC and PCF by the school headmaster, because he was one of a top students with good heart in his former school, but no opportunity to pursue his future. With LC scholarship granted this year, now he just starts studying Mattayom 4 (Grade 10) in Chiang Mai. He was in need of a scholarship prior to getting this education, because in his local village they did not have high school/ secondary school. His former headmaster recommended he come to Chiang Mai to seek highest quality education.
Here’s a quote from Piyawat’s application to Learning Compass last year:
"My name is Piyawat Chotiwetpacharakul. My nickname is Ball. I am 15 years old. I am studying in Baan Wanaluang school, Mae Hong Son. I travel to school by riding motorbike, taking two of my nieces who are studying in Prathom 2 (primary education) and Anuban 2 (elementary education). Our house is 3.5 km away from the school. I am member of student committee. Our roles are to be role model on health promotion, organize activities to promote cleanliness or campaign to prevent drug addictions. We also take part in organizing other school activities such as Teacher's Day, Sports Day, Poet Day, Science Day, etc. I have taken part in the extracurricular activities, such as competing in science projects, reading, etc.
I am living with my grandparents and three nieces. My grandmother has diabetes and my grandfather has Osteoarthritis. He has to go to hospital for treatment. Because they are getting old and having health issues, they cannot work hard. Their works include pigs and chicken farming, and growing crops. Their income is not stable and cannot afford to essential things. However, they have my aunt who sends 4000 THB per month to them. At home, I am responsible for taking my nieces to school, doing house chores, and helping my grandparents to feed the pigs every day after school.
My other important responsibility is to study hard. I believe that education leads to stable future. I have wanted to be engineer because I love studying science and mathematics, and Occupation and Technology, and other vocational-related subjects. I aim to finish Mattayom 3 and will continue in high school. If I have opportunity, I will follow my dream by studying hard to complete my education, and become engineer as I have always wished to be."
Jaiya is 22 years old and is in her last year at Ubon Ratchathani University. When she was in high school, she once participated in the essay competition and won the writing and reading. She is committed to studying for a bachelor's degree.
Jaiya was born in a farmer family. Her father is very old and has diabetes. Jaiya's mum is deaf and has neuralgia. When vacant from farming, they will make bamboo rice container for sale. Jaiya has to do part-time work also during school holidays to lighten the family burden, such as house cleaning, salesperson. Her older sister, works in a company and does not earn much. Her family has little income, so she does not have enough money to study. Her dream is to be an accountant and has her own business. She wishes to have a functional house for her family one day.
15-yr-old 'Gift', and orphan from rural Buriram province, has been living with her grandma after her mother passed away 3 yrs ago. The small family is living by grandma’s small government pension, and sometimes selling bethels and fruits in the wet market to live a day. Gift is an extremely talented student who works very hard. She enjoys reading and dreams to becoming a teacher. This year she is finishing M.3 (Thai junior high school), and going to attend M.4 (upper high school), which no longer has government education fund to support. Learning Compass is now supporting her for further opportunity, because she has the rights to learn, and to become a bright teacher for her community.
Mod is 15 years old and has just entered M4, in a "poor" government school in small town of Prakhonchai, Buriram. The students in this school can’t attend the other school in town because of financial or academic reasons. However, Mod has always been in top-streamed class of her year group.
Mod is the youngest of a family of 4 children. 2 older brothers work in a different town. Her sister works with her mother in their family sewing shop. The father works on a construction site in Chon Buri and send money when he can. Her grandfather lives with them but is too old to work. In order to be able to buy the proper equipment for the sewing shop, the mum borrowed 50000thb from the bank. She has to refund 1200thb / month for the next 5 years.
Her actual income: she assembles between 300 and 400 dresses / month. She gets between 8 to 12thb / dress. In Mod’s free time, she helps her mother and sister at the sewing shop. Basically, at the end of the month, they have about 3000thb left. They live 14 km away from school and Mod commutes with pick-up bus “Songthaew” every day. (450thb/ month)
Mod best school subjects: Mathematics and sciences, she also likes English.
Hobbies: reading novels, watching TV, playing volleyball and football.
She dreams of having her own dental clinic and stay in Buriram province.
Pia just turned 15 years old and is starting M4 this April 2017. For the last 3 years she has been in the top 3 of year group of over 600 students. She is a very hard-working girl with great potential. She participates in many academic competition ( Music, sciences, technology) and excels in all of them. Because of her high potential, she is now in the gifted and talented program.
Pia’s mum passed away in March 2015. She is now living with her grand-parents and her younger sister. The family income is quiet low, the grand-parents have a food stall at the hospital which doesn’t cover enough. It’s a very unreliable and unstable income. Pia gets up early every morning ( 5:00AM) to help her grand-parents to get the food from the market and prepare food for the stall. After school, in late afternoon, she goes help them again packing up the stall and clean up for the next day. The grand-mother is mentally ill so the family gets some support from the government, this is actually the only guaranteed income they have, which is insufficient. ( Grand-mother was extremely worried about Pia’s future as they are not making enough money to support her education)
At this stage, Pia dreams to become a doctor, more specifically a dentist. She hopes, one day she could visit Switzerland, as she said, all the pictures I have seen look so beautiful.
Apiwat is 15 years old and is starting M4 in April 2017. He has been in the top 3 of his year group of over 600 students. Last year, he won some awards at the Traditional Thai poem recital. He loves sciences and he is very committed to his studies.
Apiwat comes from a farmers’ family of 5. He has an older brother who quitted school after M3 and who is now working in Bangkok trying to send money to the family. His younger brother is in kindergarten. His parents work on the land most days and sometimes the father goes away to work in the construction in order to help cover family’s expenses. The family hopes the older brother will get a better job soon so he can pay the costs of Apiwat’s education. Every day, Apiwat participates in all the family chores. He leaves 17 km away from school, he commutes to school in “SongThaew” ( taxi truck) every day.
Apiwat wants to become a scientist, and maybe become a sciences teacher. He would love, one day, to visit Korea.