Teepor Kengchallai (“Tee”)
Tee is 16 years old, in tenth grade, and wants to be a teacher. Her only hope is to be selected for the Princess Scholarship. Her parents are rice farmers living in a small village. Neither of them completed the 8th grade. Because her village does not have a middle school or high school, she is boarding at the nearest high school about forty kilometers from her village. There are 600 kids at the high school, and 100 of them (including Tee) are boarding at the school because they are from the villages. You can guess how those kids are treated by the “town kids.” As part of the terms of the boarding, all of the village kids have to clean the school, work in the kitchen, etc. They don’t have nice uniforms and shoes (and houses) like the other kids, so of course, they are continuously ridiculed. And to make it worse, most of the village kids need to work in the evenings and weekends to pay for their school supplies. So basically, the town kids get to study in the evenings and weekends, while Tee works three part-time jobs: doing ironing and laundry, cleaning homes, and working in the rice fields. Against all the odds, Tee has persevered and stayed in school while maintaining a 3.0 GPA, which is good enough to apply for the Princess scholarship.