Xingtong dreamed of furthering her education by attending high school. However, the stark reality was that her parents were unable to pay for her tuition. Without the opportunity to go to high school, Xingtong knew that her aspiration for a great career someday would remain just a dream. At the time, Pearl S. Buck was just a name to her. She did not know the woman behind that name nor did she understand the legacy she had left behind.
Xingtong’s life changed dramatically two years ago when a teacher told her that she may be eligible for scholarship funding. Xingtong was able to attend the Chongshi Girls’ High School because of the generosity of a Pearl S. Buck International child sponsor.
Xingtong recalls the moment when she became a student at the high school. “Happily, I came to Zhenjiang Chongshi Girls’ High School. It was really a good choice for me as, not only was I sponsored and given the opportunity to study, but I also received encouragement to become involved in many interesting and meaningful activities. For example, to help us know more about Pearl S. Buck, the school organized a visit to the Pearl S. Buck Museum and her former residence. Pearl S. Buck was not just a name for me anymore. I saw her picture, learned of her works, her love for Zhenjiang and her great legacy. I was really impressed by what she did for students like me and many orphans longing for a warm home. Suddenly I knew that Pearl S. Buck is widely admired, not only because she is a Nobel Prize winner, but because of her great contributions to children who are in need of help. Walking around her former residence, I could imagine how she wrote her great works and took care of her sick mother.”
Now in her second year in high school, Xingtong’s studies keep her busy in the competitive academic environment as everyone works hard to excel.
“I have to try my best to study. I enjoy the busy life and work for my goals. I hope one day I can do something like Pearl S. Buck or be a volunteer in a similar program to help others and do something meaningful.