University | News
Meet Thinley

8, Mar, 2018

Thinley Dema

Hometown: Trashigang Bhutan
Major: Politics, Philosophy and Economics // Class of 2021

Thinley was raised in a small town in Eastern Bhutan called Trashigang along with her two younger siblings. Her father has struggled for most of his life with illness and is unable to work, so her mother is supports the family earning only a small wage working in the Ministry of Education in Bhutan.

Thinley began her secondary education in 2002, studying in her village when her parents were both able to work at the time. In Bhutan, in order to continue going to school past grade 10, you must qualify for a government scholarship. Luckily, Thinley worked hard and was selected for a scholarship, allowing her to continue studying arts
and humanities in Bhutan through grade 12.

Although her marks were satisfactory, she was unable to enroll in university in Bhutan, and her parents could not afford to send her to a private university, so Thinley spent nearly a year after high school working in Bhutan and living at home. She had almost given up on her dream of attending university, until she learned of AUW through her
family and friends in the community. “My mother is a source of inspiration for me – she is the only person who works in our family and she is the woman. She is how I became inspired to go to AUW, and luckily they accepted me and gave me a scholarship.”

For Thinley, attending university has been the biggest milestone of her life so far. “AUW is a miracle in my life. Me being a poor daughter, this is a blessing. I hope that AUW can keep doing things like this and bring other poor people an education.”

After Thinley graduates from AUW, she wants to go on to become a leader in her hometown in Bhutan. “I want to be someone who leads my people to the society that I am imagining, something completely different than what we have at the moment. A society where women are not suppressed – I want to build a society with so much equality and equity in gender. I want to contribute little things in my society that will bring big changes.”

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