Welcome to our Blessing Hands Blog

Thanks for visiting our website and learning about our charity that helps children in China stay in school.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is There Life After Graduation?

Is There Life After Graduation?
Thanks to our family of sponsors, students are graduating and many will go to college. I want to tell you the story of Liang Guangyun who received a Blessing Hands college scholarship this year. There are many success stories but this one is his.

I have a special love of physics.

Liang Quanyun's words caught the eye of a physicist reading his scholarship essay last year.

When it comes to my dreams, I always said I wanted to be a scientist. I have a special love of physics. I think I will take up physics classes, and I want to make some contribution to society.
The college tuition expense is beyond my family's ability. There are two people studying in school, my little sister and I. My little sister is one year younger than me, and she is going to be a senior three student, which means spending a great deal of money. What is worse, my family can't afford any more for there are few incomes in our family. Besides, my father has a disease. As money is lacking, it cannot be cured. In a word, my family is short of money.

Poverty is a constant presence with our Blessing Hands students. They come from rural families without much land, resources, and sometimes health care. Because the physicist was touched by his dream, Liang got his scholarship and went to Nanchang University last fall.

I got a letter recently from Liang Quanyun describing his first year of college. He is studying computers, when he really wanted to study physics. College students in China don't always get to major in their first choice of subjects. It depends on the college that accepts them and what courses they have open. He is glad to be studying, however, and willing to suffer for the education he so desires.

As to free time, so much work fills it. Quantities of things need to be learned. When it comes to the challenge, study is the first. As the professor gives lectures too fast to follow, most of my lessons I learn by myself. Though I have the ability to learn, it will spend mountains of time. Meanwhile I need to do two or three part-time jobs to earn my living costs, which takes almost 40 hours per month. Time is beyond of my ability. In order to do it well.
I have to get up at 6:10, and then not go to bed until 23:10 (11:10 p.m.).
There are so many competitions in college, such as physics competition, math competition, and web design. I have applied for the math competition, which will be held next semester. In order to perform it well, in summer vacation, I will do some preparation. On the other hand, I need to study computers, and get through the state secondary examination of computers.

Liang's sponsor has already decided to sponsor him again next year. With his hard work, he is sure to succeed. All of our students are studying very hard. We hope that their sponsors will renew their sponsorships too. Three sponsors have already committed to renew their scholarship help. We hope you will also.

Send us an e-mail to blessinghands@gmail.com if you are willing to sponsor your college student a second year. Of course there are always new graduating high school students who need first year scholarships. Some of you might support one of them in the fall.


Students Graduating

Yu Yanying wrote recently. " I have finished senior high school with your help. Thank you very much. Wish you all the best."

Yanying will be applying for a Blessing Hands $500 scholarship for college soon. We will feature her in the summer after we have rated all the scholarship applications, essays, and test scores. We will tell her story later.

Every June Chinese middle school kids and high school students graduate into a new life. They have just finished very difficult tests that will place them in high schools or qualify them for college. Those that don't score high enough on the tests will go to vocational school or work.

I think these tests are similar to the tests the emperors gave once a year to select civil servants. The honor of families hangs on these tests as well as the future of the students. Without a good test score, the students will not go to a good high school or college, but with an education they can reach back and help their families. Our tuition program is a great poverty reduction program.

All of China holds its breath during these three day tests nationwide. Traffic is routed away and even helicopters are not allowed to fly near the testing centers. Parents are as stressed out as the students and teachers in the days before the tests when pretests are given daily to prepare them. Internet blackouts are enforced in schools to keep students from being distracted from their studies.

Now the tests are over and I am hearing from the students again. They are finally free of studies but still full of hope until the test scores come back and lives are ruined or lifted. Their letters can make me cry - just knowing that we have made a difference in their lives, and they have made it through high school finally after all their struggles.

Read more about the Chinese Obsession with the national test at this New York Times Link.



NEW WAY TO GIVE MONTHLY

Someone has been sending us regular anonymous $10 contributions through "Just Give". We sure thank you. For your convenience we have researched a way for you to give through your bank automatically. It gives us the whole amount without any service charge withheld, and it is easy to set up a regular contribution through your bank. We have a form that you can download or print right from your browser. Just mail it to us along with a void check from your account. The form is located at this address.

I have used automatic bank deposits to support a child in Haiti for many years. It sure has been convenient for me. I don't have to remember to send a check, and I don't pay for a stamp every month. I recommend this method of giving to you.


Festival Results

The Clack Mountain Festival was very good.
We sold 17 student paintings and made some
new friends for our kids. One new sponsor
signed up to support a student.