We are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that works to provide hope and opportunities to impoverished children in developing countries. By providing them with access to an education, they gain the ability to choose their futures.
Video: Teaching Pang Liu Elementary students English numerals by playing Bingo!
How It All Started
In the summer of 2005, I was invited to pioneer an English teaching program at the Pang Liu Elementary School, a rural school near Xi'an, China. The living conditions and extreme poverty were shocking. Meeting children who only get to eat one meal a day is an eye-opening experience for an affluent, well-sheltered sophomore attending a private high school in the States. Soon, I grew fond of the kids and wanted to help them achieve what they hoped for in life. Their excitement and ambition was contagious. It was distressing to me that their goals would be unobtainable without additional help.
There is a cycle of poverty that occurs around the world, in which parents who do not have the opportunities to change their socioeconomic status pass on that disparity to the next generation. The family does not have the means to support the children's education, making higher echelon jobs perpetually unobtainable, no matter how hard they work.
As I got further invested in helping, I learned about the problem with migrant students in China. Over 20 million school age children, 40% of whom are living under the poverty line, have been relocated from their rural villages to the outskirts of cities so their parents can find jobs in the city. Since public schools in China only enroll students with urban residential permits, these kids are excluded. As a result, the children face the threat of illiteracy and continued deprivation of opportunities.
I founded The Hope Scholarship Fund to give children of families caught in the cycle of poverty the opportunity to pursue the life they wish to live. The student's drive and natural abilities, rather than their poverty, will be what determines the career path they can take.