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Vannary Kong is the founder of the United States – ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Youth Council. Based in the United States, Vannary has participated in a number of different initiatives surrounding International Relations. She has also been successful in internships with the United Nations as well as working with local authorities on various policies.
What was your journey like?
Vannary talked about her childhood years and going to school. She explored how that has been a time of struggle for her. He father is an African-American and he mother is from Cambodia. Both her parents also have different religions. Coming from a very diverse background and growing up in that environment, made fitting in a school in the United States quite challenging. She faced prejudice and racism. However, this never stopped Vannary from achieving her goals. Being so diverse has actually been helpful to her when growing to establish herself in the field of international relations. She interned in various different jobs that had slightly different focuses. She is now studying cyber security as well as international relations.
Why do you think it is important that people study international relations?
Vannary believes that international relations is a subject that intertwines with all areas of the world we live in. From cyber security to achieving harmony in the world, it is important that people have a good understanding of all the different aspects that make up this structure. International relations is a good mix of not only policies and law making but also cultures and diversity.
What would be your tips for people who are facing racial discrimination?
Vannary said that it is important to not let people deter you from your goals and passions with their words, no matter how hurtful. Other people get insecure and they never pursue their dreams because they hear the words “no” and this makes them angry and unfulfilled. There will always be that one person that will believe in you and give you the chance to grow and do what you want to do.
If you could leave the youth with one piece of advice, what would it be?
Make sure that you are financially sorted before embarking on new adventures and investing in your future.