As one of our most successful students, she was accepted into the prestigious UWC Atlantic College to continue her studies before entering university. During her education at the Dandelion School, she was selected for advanced English tutoring to help her gain acceptance to UWC. The heartfelt letter she sent us after getting in shows a strong control of the language for her age--evidence that her hard work has paid off.
A portion of the letter reads:
"My name is Qiong Yang. Thank you so much for helping with our school!
I graduated from "Dandelion School" in 2009. And now I am studying in "The United World College of Atlantic". My hometown is HeNan province. I came to Beijing with my parents when I was four years old.
After I have finished my primary school studying in a private school in Beijing, my parents had no ideas about where I can have my middle school. As my parents both worked in Beijing and I didn't want to separate from them at that time, but there aren't suitable middle school for migrant children like me, we didn't know how to do. At the moment, I heard about Dandelion Middle school, and I knew it is for the migrant children and the school fees are not expensive, so my parents and I decided to go to Dandelion School. At first, I didn't know so much about Dandelion School, but after the three years life in there, I really experienced and learned a lot! The Dandelion School just like a big family including school leaders, teachers, volunteers and students, we take care of each other, and the teachers just like our parents to give us so much attention!
There are lots of volunteers from different countries in school, they play with us and teacher us different countries' culture, it really opens my eyes so that I have more realization about the beautiful world!
What's more, the school always try to give us help when we are in need. There are four children in my home, so it isn't easy for my parents to earn money for the whole family, as the oldest one, I always study hard to get good grades and try to get the scholarship so that I can reduce the burben of my parents.
This year, I got a change to take part in the interview of "The United World College", there were two another American volunteers helped with my application and interview, they two really help me a lot when I apply for the school, at last I passed the interview and get the full scholarship!
As I know why I can get the scholarship in Dandelion School, one of the the reasons is that your support so that I can be sponsored by Hope Scholarship. So I really want to say thank you for running the Hope Scholarship Fund.
I think not only me, but also all the students in Dandelion must feel so lucky, although we can't go to public school and our family are not rich, we lead a happy and meaningful life because of you. Your help give us a change to enjoy education, and the most important is we can feel the love of the society and we learn from you that what kind of people we should be. So thank you very much!"
Qiong continues to work towards success. In the summer of 2013, Qiong graduated from UWC AC and came to America on a full scholarship to Macalester College in Minnesota! We are truly excited for her, and very proud of her accomplishments. She is currently double-majoring in economics and political science. Below is a photo of her and some of her classmates at their graduation. Qiong is on the far right.
During her second summer of college, Qiong was the recipient of a $10,000 grant from Macalester College for her proposal to help provide more school infrastructure at her old junior high school in Beijing, the Dandelion School. She and two student volunteers she recruited spent the entire summer at Dandelion using the grant to initiate new school programs and build new learning spaces for the students. Her story is a remarkable one of success and giving back to her community.
Most recently, Qiong was hired for summer internships at Sampam Newspaper in Boston and at CCTV in Washington, D.C. She hopes to pursue journalism as a career.
The following is a translation of a letter from Wei Qingyun. The original letter can be found below the English translation.
How are you? I am an 8th grade student from the Dandelion Middle School. My name is Wei Qingyun. I am honored to be a recipient of The Hope Scholarship Fund because I understand that there are many students that need this scholarship, but I was the lucky one to receive this opportunity. I cannot find the right words to express my gratitude. Without your help the tuition would be too much for my family. I want to say to you two words—thank you.
I do not speak very eloquently, but right now every word and every punctuation mark represents my appreciation. Before attending Dandelion Middle School, I did not put education as a high priority. But since I entered this school, I totally changed my mind. It is the complete opposite. The teachers at Dandelion truly care for their students and the school is also connected to organizations like yours to help students who cannot afford an education. With your help, we do not have to worry about tuition and can concentrate on studying. With all these opportunities to take advantage of, why would I not work hard and study? I thought about it all night and decided to make the most of my education.
I want to go to college, and I will be a good citizen for my country, a good son for my parents, and will not disappoint my teachers and the people who have helped me along the way.
I understand that I have to work hard, but I am working hard for my own benefit. I am working to build a future for myself. I have to be determined! I want to show my teachers, my parents, and my donors that if you saw me in the future you would no longer recognize me. Instead, you would be impressed.
I truly appreciate that you read my letter. I am very happy. I hope that after this letter, we can become friends and that we will keep in touch.
I do not want to take up too much of your time. Thank you for your donation. I am determined to study and get good grades.