Yuhan describes the death of her father as a “great blow” to her family. The fear that accompanied the realization that her father’s death left the family without an income was real. The loss came at a time when her mother was supporting Yuhan’s grandmother who was sick and had no job. Yuhan did not know how the family would manage, yet the fear was overshadowed by the tremendous sadness in knowing that while the income may return some day, her father would not. Filled with sadness and despair, Yuhan initially believed she would never recover from the loss of her father.
She learned to be resilient through the pain because she felt she had no other choice but to be tough. Despite the many hardships that ensued after her father’s death, Yuhan says her mother set a good example. She recalls how her mother never complained that life was unfair. Instead, her mother encouraged her to be optimistic and strong.
Yuhan worked through the pain of the loss of a parent and began to move forward with a positive attitude. With the help of neighbors, her mother found a job. However, Yuhan would encounter another setback when it was time for her to go to high school. They did not have enough money to pay fortuition. She believed she would have to forego her dream of going to high school and pursue vocational training instead. Yuhan almost gave up hope when her head teacher told her about the Pearl S. Buck Class at Chongshi Girls’ High School. Her teacher said that she would be eligible for the child sponsorship program of Pearl S. Buck International and she was enrolled.
Getting word that someone cared enough to sponsor her proved to be more than a great relief to her and her mother. Being sponsored gave her opportunities and returned her dreams to her. Knowing that someone cared motivated her and affirmed that her efforts would pay off and her dreams would come true.
Yuhan’s days at Zhenjiang Chongshi Girls High School have flown by quickly and she is now a seniorwhose thoughts turn to the university entrance exam. She credits her teachers and Pearl S. Buck International for enabling her to be successful at the high school level. She credits her sponsors for encouraging her along the way and for giving her dreams back.