Life Goes On

About three years ago, the school agreed to enroll a group of underprivileged students from Wuhan. These students lived in the dorms, participated in school events, and hoped to graduate from this school so they can have a future in Shanghai. I think they were hoping for a job in the company after graduation. I still remember when they first came. A couple of them opted to be in the English track even though they had to work extra hard to learn the language. They stayed together in a group, eating together and spending most of their time together, as though they needed that support. At that time, I was the adviser of the Community Service Club and a few of them were actively involved in helping sort donated clothes, working at fund-raising events, and assisting in the Art Charity auction. I remember speaking to Johnny during the auction who told me of the differences between his life in his hometown and his life in Shanghai. He spoke of the scarcity of clean, drinking water and how people in his hometown did mostly manual labor. He felt his new life in Shanghai was almost extravagant. There was also Karen who was in my homeroom at that time. She was a quiet girl, but she persisted in all of her classes even though it was difficult to keep up. In the two years she was here, she gained the favor of her teachers and friends. In fact, she was even voted Prom Queen her senior year!

This morning, I came across Lucy, one of the girls in this group. She told me that after graduation, they all went their separate ways. Two of them went on to America for college while a few of them stayed on to work at the company, but they all kept in touch. This summer, they plan to meet together in Australia for a vacation. I can’t help but to feel a sense of pride in seeing how this group of students made the most of what was given to them years ago. Australia is a long ways from Wuhan … it just goes to show how far one can go with hard work and perseverance.

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