Spring Bud girl dedicated to relaying love
The Spring Bud Project has helped many disadvantaged girls continue their studies –– and positively transform their lives –– over the decades. Zhang Yongyuan, from Northeast China's Jilin province, is one of the thousands of beneficiaries of the project.
"The project has charted the direction of my life, and it has provided me with great strength in the expansion of personal horizons and the creation of a bright future," Zhang says. She feels lucky to have been introduced to the Spring Bud Project during the most confused time in her life, and she says she is grateful for charity-minded people, especially for their care and help.
Zhang Yongyuan (CCTF)
Zhang, 28, is from Wanbao, a mountainous village in Jiaohe, a city in Jilin province. During her childhood, she never thought she would have the chance to explore the wider world beyond the mountains.
Her family moved to a nearby town in 2006. At that time, her family was in debt because its small business had failed. Also, her mother was in poor health, due to years of overwork.
Zhang Yongyuan at work (CCTF)
Given her family's situation, Zhang, then a middle school student, decided to drop out of school, because she wanted to earn money and alleviate her father's burdens.
Zhang was overwhelmed when she learned the Spring Bud Project could help disadvantaged girls return to school. She immediately applied for support, and she was admitted to Jilin Girls' School, a secondary vocational school, in Jilin, a city in Jilin province.
Zhang cherished the valuable opportunity to continue learning, and she performed well academically.
Zhang says studying at Jilin Girls' School transformed her into an optimistic, cheerful and brave person. Many of the teachers at the school shared their overseas-study experiences with their students, and those experiences fostered Zhang's strong desire to explore the outside world.
"The more you learn, the more you realize there is no end to learning. The more great people you have around you, the more you feel you should work harder," Zhang says.
Zhang managed to save money, earned through a part-time job, and with financial assistance from her parents and friends, she moved to the Republic of Korea (ROK) to continue her education, after she graduated from the vocational school.
During her time in ROK, Zhang overcame multiple challenges involving living expenses and linguistic and cultural barriers. "I always believed that knowledge changes lives. At that time, I told myself that I must stick to it and return to my motherland after I finished my studies, and that I should not let down those who gave me a helping hand," she recalls.
Thanks to her overseas experiences, and her linguistic proficiency, Zhang worked for two Korean enterprises after she finished her studies in ROK and returned to China.
Zhang Yongyuan enjoys her leisure time. (CCTF)
Now, Zhang works for a leading Korean firm in the new-energy sector, and she is dedicated to developing Chinese suppliers and promoting the sales of high-quality Chinese commodities in the international market.
Zhang is enthusiastic about participating in charitable activities organized by her company, and within her residential community. She has donated money to help children from disadvantaged families.
"When I was studying in Jilin Girls' School, the teachers not only taught me knowledge, but also gave me selfless care and warmth. I have always hoped to have a chance to be a teacher. I want to influence and accompany children as they grow up healthily," Zhang says.
To realize her dream of becoming a teacher, Zhang says she is now working hard to improve and enrich her experiences, and she plans to enroll in a graduate program in the future. "I will strive to store more knowledge and positive energy, to better help needy children, light up their lives with love, and help them embrace a bright future," she says.