CUHK Scholarship Recipients Pass on Blessings to Others by Giving Back to the Community
While scholarships may help students to ease the financial burden upon them, or to pursue further studies and exchange opportunities, they may also inspire students to extend the spirit of caring and giving to others. Two scholarship recipients of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Mr Xu Ziheng, a 2009 information engineering graduate and Mr Chan Kin-pong, a year five psychology student, who respectively received the Lanson Foundation Scholarship and the HSBC Overseas Scholarship, have recently demonstrated the spirit of generous giving in a remarkable manner.
After graduation from the Department of Information Engineering at CUHK in 2009, Mr Xu joined the Beijing Branch of the Industrial Bank Co. Ltd. and is currently an account manager at the Bank's Business Department. Recently, he donated 10% of his income last year to the Lanson Foundation Scholarship Fund, from which he had benefited during his four years of undergraduate studies. 'It was an unforgettable experience to meet the donor of Lanson Foundation Scholarship six years ago. I never expected I would have the chance to meet my benefactor, and to me at that time, philanthropy was merely about giving money. After meeting him, I understood that making a donation was not just to share money, but also to share opportunities and to extend the spirit of selfless giving to others. As part of the community, we ought to shoulder social responsibility and care for the needy. From that day onwards, I've decided to follow the footsteps of the donor to spread the spirit of giving generously by sharing what I have with others,' said Ziheng.
The scholarship did not only help to relieve the financial burden of Ziheng's family, but also broadened his horizons. He was referred by the donor to participate in the Global Young Leaders Programme organized by the Global Institute for Tomorrow. In the programme, he learnt a great deal about business ethics and governance, and social responsibility. Ziheng now plans to pursue a Juris Doctor programme in the United States in the near future. He said, 'I'm honoured to be able to contribute to society, and I sincerely hope the money can bring some opportunities to students and give them some inspiration like what I gained from the donor of the Lanson Foundation Scholarship, helping them to strive for a better future.'
Another scholarship recipient, Mr Chan Kin-pong, has contributed through volunteer service. Currently studying psychology, Kin-pong was one of the recipients of the HSBC Overseas Scholarship 2009/10. He initiated the voluntary teaching programme 'Little Dream-lighters' which has benefited over 150 under-privileged children since its launch. Kin-pong said, 'I was very fortunate to have the full sponsorship from HSBC Overseas Scholarship Scheme to spend a year at the University of Oxford to study philosophy. It was a valuable experience of transformation to me. I had the chance to visit the HSBC headquarters in London and to work on a research project on academic consultancy funded by the Business School at Oxford, from which I learnt about combining quantitative and analytical research skills. I do not come from a wealthy family, but my optimism and persistence had driven me to strive for this valuable opportunity and I was also inspired to do something meaningful through my social network.'
Kin-pong, together with some Hong Kong students whom he met at Oxford, initiated the 'Little Dream-lighters' programme to provide English language classes to underprivileged children. He said, 'Apart from offering free English language classes, I wish to apply what I learnt in psychology to help the children develop optimism and self-confidence. Research has found that being grateful is a key component of happiness. Therefore we tried to instil the concepts of gratitude and optimism in our teaching. For example, children are required to write three good things they have done and how to make them happen again in their homework. This helps polish their English writing, develop optimistic and positive thinking, and achieve goals in a positive manner. I'll also measure the effectiveness of our programme by means of psychological questionnaires for continuous improvement.' Kin-pong has applied the knowledge learnt in University to his social services, making the learning process more enjoyable and meaningful.