Harpswell Leadership Resident Program

The Harpswell Leadership Resident (LR) program is a volunteer opportunity to teach, mentor and live with Cambodian university students in Harpswell’s dormitories and leadership centers in Phnom Penh. The position is for young women in their mid-twenties and older who have broad international and cultural experiences that they can share with our students. Over the past 10 years, Harpswell has hosted more than 100 Leadership Residents.


Leadership Residents live in the Harpswell dormitories for three to six months, and teach, mentor and advise the students. They are encouraged to share their skills, talents and interests with the students.

The primary responsibilities of Leadership Residents include:

  • Teach Harpswell’s core curriculum, with topics designed to promote critical thinking, leadership skills and career readiness
  • Facilitate critical thinking discussions about current events
  • Mentor students in one-on-one sessions, teaching English, life skills, leadership and personal development
  • Plan cultural activities

Click to download the job description

In addition to providing room and board, Harpswell pays LRs a small living stipend. We ask LRs to arrange their own transportation to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Apply here

Please contact maggie@harpswellfoundation.org with any questions.

For an inside look into the experience of Leadership Residents, check out 2016 LR Sirianna Santacrose’s blog post here, and reflections from recent LRs Basye Peek and Sara Worsfold.

Jojo Lam’s Experience

Former Leadership Resident Jojo Lam, who is now the Harpswell In-Country LR Coordinator, wrote an article about her experience as a Leadership Resident, drawing links between living in a sorority at California-Berkley and her experience at Harpswell. Here is an excerpt from the article, which appeared in the Spring 2016 Gamma Phi Beta Magazine:

“The highlight of my trip came near the end of my program when a fellow leadership resident and I cooked up a soccer tournament for the students. On the day of the event, the Harpswell women descended upon soccer fields normally reserved for men and boys. The women became fierce competitors despite the fact that many had never played soccer before. Afterward, the women proudly posted photos on Facebook, asserting to their peers a woman’s right to play sports – a small but telling indicator that something had shifted that day. It is those small shifts I now find meaningful. Before I came to Cambodia, I took for granted the experience I gained from being an alumna of Gamma Phi Beta. Now I see that all along I was getting prepared for the mission I am on today: to build young women leaders all over the world.”

I am a junior neuroscience major and music minor at Rhodes College. Last year, two students from Harpswell were studying at Rhodes College and we became very close. I decided I wanted to go to Cambodia and was excited to be given the opportunity to work as a Leadership Resident for Harpswell. The experiences I had there are ones I will continue to hold onto. In Cambodia Daily discussions, I gained new insight on world issues. Teaching English class taught me patience, recognizing the complexity of the English language and how privileged I am to natively speak English. I loved having individual tutoring with girls and getting to be a part of seeing them learn and grow. It was a great experience teaching these incredible women, but it is amazing how much they taught me as well.” –  Jocelyn Labombarde, former Leadership Resident and founder of the Harpswell Music Program