Student Testimonial: This is Laura’s story/ 毕业生感言(二)- 刘琰的故事

May 5, 2019

Hello everyone, my name is Liu Yan. At Shanghai Sunrise, most people know me by my English name Laura. I became student of Shanghai Sunrise in 2009 and I still remember that my student number was 1431. That means 1430 students had been helped by Shanghai Sunrise before me. At first, I hardly knew anything about Shanghai Sunrise. The only information I had was that somebody helped me. People in my village told me that some foreigner funded my education. I never saw this nice person but I was always grateful in my heart.

 

At that time, my family situation was particularly hard. My father was disabled and my mother was weak and sickly. They both had no job and lived off farming, which provided very little income. They could only make money once the crops were harvested. They worked hard and sold some of the vegetables to the nearby market but still lived from hand to mouth. I will never forget the scene when they borrowed money for my tuition. In return I wanted to study as hard as I can. When I received the offer from a reputable senior high school, I saw pride, delight and relaxation on my parents’ faces. It seemed all their tiredness had disappeared at that moment.

 

I really appreciate that Shanghai Sunrise gave us a hand during that hardest time, allowing me to finish my high school and university studies just as confidently as other students. By then, I had attended a Pairing Ceremony and understood Shanghai Sunrise better. It’s not just one foreigner but a group of nice people. It is an international education organization! At the pairing ceremony, it was the first time I saw so many kind people together. There were Chinese, foreigners, Overseas Chinese, compatriots from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao and also our lovely volunteers and staff. I was so excited and uneasy. When I came back to school, I told my classmates I met a lot of foreigners and talked in English. They were both curious and admiring.

 

Once I went to university, there was more interaction between me and Shanghai Sunrise. I wrote two thank you letters every year and the staff of Shanghai Sunrise would pass them on to my sponsor. All my life and study, all my sadness and happiness were captured in these letters, just like talking to my friends. At first, I was worried about my English and afraid of making mistakes, so I wrote in Chinese. It was my Shanghai Sunrise contact who encouraged me to try to write in English. Slowly, I started to try and the Shanghai Sunrise staff helped me with my grammar and spelling. Little by little, my writing skills improved and I even passed the CET 4 exam the first time. What a surprise! Apart from writing letters, all Shanghai Sunrise sponsored university students would visit high school students living in near suburb during winter and summer vacation to hear about their study and family situation. If they have any problems with their studies, we would try to help. In addition, I volunteered for Shanghai Sunrise when I had some free time, for example during their charity sale.

 

I have to say Shanghai Sunrise helped me a lot. Not only economically but also my personality. I used to be introvert, inarticulate and even invisible in class. But after attending a few Shanghai Sunrise events with many people, I became braver. I even attended the class cadre campaign, started helping my classmates and living positively. I also benefited from a Shanghai Sunrise ‘Career Day’: During this event, university students about to enter the working world had the chance to hear from a career expert who gave us tips on how to find an internship and how to go about career planning.

 

After graduation, I worked as an administrative assistant at Shanghai Sunrise for more than one year. I started to know Shanghai Sunrise from the other side and tried my best to help all students. As a student who lived through it, I especially hope students could overcome their psychological distress and study problems. Not just me but the entire Shanghai Sunrise team hopes we can do more than just making a donation. We hope all students can make progress, act responsibly and give back to society. I really hope to see more sponsors join Shanghai Sunrise and change the world, to let more students change their fate through knowledge. I learnt a lot during my time working for Shanghai Sunrise. That was a joyful time in my life. To my regret, I can no longer work on the front line with Shanghai Sunrise due to my career plan and family situation. I currently work as an English training teacher. But whenever Sunrise needs me, I will always be there.

 

大家好!我叫刘琰,我的英文名是Laura,现在是一名英语培训教师。2009年我成为Sunrise资助的学生,我还记得我的助学号是1431,这代表在我之前已经有1430名困难学生接受过Sunrise的助学了。起初,我并不了解Sunrise,只知道我是受人资助,村里负责助学的叔叔阿姨告诉我资助人是外国友人,因此我一直以为外国友人是某位好心的外国人,虽然没有见过帮助我的人,但我心中一直很感激这位不知名的外国友人。

 

当时,我们家境贫寒,父亲手有残疾,母亲多病,父母没有工作,皆靠务农谋生以及供养我上学。那时务农收入很低,庄稼都是等到成熟了才能换成钱,因此常常几个月都没有收入,种了一些蔬菜去菜场旁边卖,也只能勉强糊口,生活陷入了困境之中。让我记忆深刻的是每到开学,父母就要四处借钱给我筹学费,父母的这一举动促使了努力学习的决心,我能做的唯有埋头苦读才能不辜负他们。我拼搏,我努力,终于努力换来了回报。仍旧记得当我收到重点高中录取通知时,父母的神情中有骄傲、有欣慰、仿佛一切辛苦都在顷刻化为乌有。

 

而在此时,我真的很感激Sunrise在我们经济那么无助的时候向我们伸出援手,让我能和其他的同学一样安安心心完成高中和大学的学业。这对我们家庭来说无疑是一种雪中送炭的时候,让我始终心存感恩。

 

后来,我和sunrise的故事仍旧继续。结对仪式中重新认识了Sunrise,原来村干部口中的国际友人并不是一个人,而是一群人,我才知道这是一个国际友人助学机构!结对仪式也是我第一次见到那么多好心人,有中国人、有外国人、有华侨、有港澳台同胞,还有可爱可敬的志愿者和工作人员,我又是兴奋又是忐忑,回到学校还和同学们说我见到好多外国人,我还用英语和他们聊天了呢,同学们又是羡慕又是好奇。

 

上了大学以后,和Sunrise互动多了,我每年会给我的资助人写两封信寄到Sunrise办公室,办公室的姐姐会帮我们转交给资助人,信中会告诉资助人我的生活和学习近况,烦恼和乐事,就像和朋友交谈一样。刚开始我害怕英文不好,写错了闹笑话,便用中文写信,办公室的姐姐会鼓励我尝试这用英文给资助人写信,资助人看到一定会更开心的。于是我慢慢开始用英文写信,办公室的姐姐也会帮我修改信中的语法和单词拼写错误。慢慢地,我的英文写作能力竟然提高了,英语四级没怎么准备就一次性通过了,真是意外之喜。除了写信之外,我们受助的大学生每年寒暑假也会在办公室姐姐的安排下去临近区县家访受助高中生,了解他们的学习情况和家庭情况,如果他们有什么学业上不懂的问题,我们这些师哥师姐也能略尽绵薄之力。

 

Sunrise办公室经常会举行慈善义卖来筹集善款,有时我有空也会自荐当志愿者去帮忙。

必须说,Sunrise给了我很多帮助,不仅仅是经济上的帮助,对我性格和处事能力也有一定的影响。从前,我是个很内向,不善言辞的女孩,但是自从参加了Sunrise的一些活动以后,敢当着全班的面竞选班干部!对我来说在过去是不敢想象的!我也开始很热心地帮助身边的同学,学会在生活中更多的帮助关心他人。Sunrise还会很贴心地为资助的学生提供一些福利,比如举办”职业日”,邀请职场达人给我们这些即将步入社会的大学生讲讲如何写简历,找实习机会,做职业规划等等,对我后来的就业也帮助良多。

 

大学毕业后,我在Sunrise做了一年多的行政。我从被动接受Sunrise的帮助,到慢慢了解Sunrise,并在团队中尽自己的绵薄之力帮助其他受助学生。作为过来人,我尤其希望帮助受助学生克服一些心理上的困扰和学习中遇到的问题。包括我在内的整个Sunrise团队,大家都希望我们能尽力做更多,不只是给一笔助学金,我们希望能看到学生们进步、向上、做一个有用之人,将来回馈社会。也希望更多的资助人能加入Sunrise,和我们一起改变这个世界,让更多的学生能有机会通过自己的力量改变命运。在Sunrise工作的那段时间是我收获很多,特别开心的一段时间,虽然很遗憾因为工作和家庭原因,我不能继续为Sunrise工作,我现在是一名英语培训教师。只要Sunrise需要我,我一直在!

 

 

 

 

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