Jun was just 14 years old when she left her village in Thailand and traveled to the city to be a part of Global G.L.O.W.’s HerStory programming. While she was excited about the opportunity ahead of her, she had no idea just how much her life was about to change.
In her village, there is no high school and many of the locals do not see the value in educating girls. “The older people in my community think girls cannot learn much,” says Jun, “they do not think that it is useful to put girls through college. They marry them off and send them to work in the fields or karaoke bars. They think that boys are number one, boys can do anything.”
Jun, however, says she always knew she was going to do big things. She was determined to prove that girls can do anything. She left her family and their rice and corn fields behind and headed to the city with a bold dream in her heart.
In the city, Jun excelled in her studies. After school, she attended G.L.O.W. programming, where she learned to be confident and advocate for her needs. She forged new relationships with G.L.O.W. mentors and friends who truly cared about her. “At the club, we talk all the time about how girls can do anything,” she says, “I get excited thinking about it and can’t wait to show people that girls can do anything. In fact, I think sometimes girls can do more than boys.”
With her newfound confidence, Jun started exploring her talents and quickly discovered that she has a very special green thumb. She taught herself to garden using YouTube videos and started to grow a variety of vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant and pumpkins. With the guidance of her mentors, she decided to sell her produce in the local market. This hobby taught Jun that she can teach herself so much and that she has all the skills to be a strong leader.
“I used to be so shy when I first started attending [G.L.O.W. programming]. I never talked to anyone in the beginning,” she says, “But I made new friends and learned to believe in myself and now I know that I can help my family and community.”
Jun is now 18 years old and is very excited to finish school and enroll in college to be an English teacher. She has had the opportunity to gather girls in her village and model all of the wonderful things she has learned through G.L.O.W. programming and is excited to see several other girls in her community learning to believe in themselves. In the future, she wants to continue to positively impact not just her community, but all of Thailand.
“My dream for the girls of Thailand is for them to be strong and be considered equal to their [future] husbands,” she says, “I wish she would help herself, have an education, show kindness to the world, and help children to go to school. I wish boys and girls can be equal!”