Khuy Kenory, a 16-year-old sophomore in a Hawaiian laboratory school, visited Washington this week to accept an award for the Congressional Art Competition.
Khuy Kenory's "Speechless," a green-hued self-portrait of a wry, tight-lipped Cambodian girl in star earrings, won in Hawaii for advanced use of color and composition.
The work will be displayed in the US Capitol for a year.
Khuy Kenory's award includes a four-year scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design, in the state of Georgia. It also included a paid trip to Washington, where she accepted her award with winners from other states.
While in Washington, Khuy Kenory, her father, mother and sister visited the offices of Voice of America.
Interviewed by VOA Khmer at the studio, the young artist, who has been to Cambodia seven times, said the country was "still growing" and "has room for a lot of improvement."
She lamented the lack of opportunity for Cambodian school children.
"I know a lot of them probably have a lot of potential in different fields or areas," she said, "but almost all of them don't have opportunities to progress or become who they could be."