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Published: Monday, September 20, 2021

Student Experience: Povheng (Heng) Yam

Co-founder of the Cambodian Student Association in the United States of America

Student Experience: Povheng (Heng) Yam

Povheng (Heng) Yam is in his sophomore year at CR, pursuing a Science Exploration degree. He is originally from Cambodia and came to Eureka to study at St. Bernard’s high school in 2017. He is also a co-founder of the Cambodian Student Association in the United States of America, also known as CSAUSA. We spoke to him about his experience at CR, his plans for the future, and about how his organization came to be.

How did you hear about CR?

I heard about CR from my aunt who currently lives in Eureka.  

Do you think it was a good choice to come to CR? Why?

I think coming to CR is the best decision that I made. I really enjoy the small class ratio which allows me to have a close connection with all my professors. As an international student, this really helps improve my academic performance. Lastly, CR has all the resources that are very useful like tutors, consulting, and more.

What was your favorite part of your experience here?

Well, at CR, chemistry class is on the next level. I really enjoy doing the lab, it is not just educational but also very fun and engaging too. I feel like I am a scientist, just without the white coat on. 

What was most challenging?

At this moment, switching back from online classes to in-person and hybrid classes is a bit challenging for me. I have a hard time managing my time since most of the classes that I took require a lot of time, and plus, I am currently working as a Peer Tutor at ASC and also volunteer at a student association that I co-founded. More than that, I also plan to transfer to a four year institution next fall semester which means I also have to work on my transfer application too. 

What are you planning to do after graduating?

I have a lot of plans that I am going to do but I know that for now, my ultimate plan is to establish a company that mainly focuses on helping all artists around the world to succeed. 

My backup plan is to become an Environmental Engineer because, in Cambodia, not everyone has access to clean water. So, my goal is to improve the water system and to deliver clean water to everyone in Cambodia.

You are the co-founder of CSAUSA, can you tell us a little bit about how it came to be?

CSAUSA was created based on a Cambodian student’s experience in America. When we arrived in America, most of us were confused and lost. We have no idea where to begin because everything is just overwhelming, the culture, the climate, and the language. All we want is to have someone that has already experienced those things to give us direction. Unfortunately, America is a very big country and we have no idea where other Cambodian students are, so we end up struggling by ourselves for years which is not a pleasant experience. So, CSAUSA is the solution that we have. We don’t want future Cambodian students to face the same problems all over again. CSAUSA will be a place where Cambodian students can connect with one another worldwide and help each other overcome all the problems that they face. CSAUSA is not limited to Cambodian students, other students from other nations are also welcome to join us. 

What is your role with the org?

My role is as an Art and Creative Director. I am mainly responsible for our branding activities and all the publishing material such as posters.

Here is a link to my bio:

Are there other Cambodian students here at CR?

I’m not sure about that. I think Katrina might be able to answer this question.

Is it a national or state org?

It is an international association and anyone can become a CSAUSA member.

How can students find it?

Students can find us at


Anything else you’d like to add about your organization?

CSAUSA is fully supported by the Royal Embassy of Cambodia.

Here is our mission:

  • Connect Cambodian students across the U.S.
  • Share educational information and career opportunities to Cambodian students across the U.S.
  • Assist prospective and current Cambodian students.
  • Unlock the potential of Cambodian youth.
  • Strengthen cultural representation between Cambodia and the U.S.
  • Aspire Cambodian youth to pursue higher education and acquire new skills.

There is more information that you can find on our website.



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