The Pok Oi team was initiated by college students from the Gansu province with the hopes of serving the poor and creating a positive social atmosphere. Read more about the Pok Oi team here.
Yang Yuanning, in the view of outsiders, as the granddaughter of Wang Yongqing, was born noble and wealthy. She was a gifted child and passed the exam with the highest scores in all of Brazil to get into a medical school. She received her degree in biochemistry at New York Rockefeller University and a medical degree at Weill Cornell Medical College.
By the time she was 16 years old, Yang Yuanning had published 7 children’s books invoking considerably deep thought. She attended fashion show held by the New York Fashion Week at the age of 17. And she was admitted to Harvard University at the age of 18, majoring in both biology and Eastern philosophy, and completing the required scores of philosophy in her sophomore year.
It is of great significance for Yang Yuanning to be born wealthy--not because of the endless amount of money, but because she had the best educational environment as well as good family traditions – strong effort, thriftiness, and helping others.
Thriftiness is their best known family tradition. Mr. Wang always used one towel until it was worn out. Mr. Yang also had his rules at the table. The children are not allowed to leave food on their plates. He said that “eating one’s fill should not be taken for granted because millions of African people are suffering from hunger.” Yang Yuanning is not as luxurious as other rich daughters: she seldom bought clothes, especially in high school, and she preferred to do reading rather than compete with others. Even if she bought an article of clothing, she always chose those with a fair price and comfort. It’s typical that you see she keeps the same article of clothing for four or five years.
Helping others is the most important concept that Yang Dingyi taught to his daughter. Yang Dingyi saw too many poor people in Brazil and knew how sharply their hardship contrasted his abundance. Therefore, since Yang Yuanning was very young, he told her that she was very lucky to be born in such a family and should help others more.
After entering into Harvard University, she devoted herself to pursuing knowledge night by night, but you should not assume her to simply be a nerd. She took pictures for American Vogue magazine, and attended fashion show held by New York Fashion Week; however, she was a special model because when others chattered, she wore earphones and read books. Especially, when the time to apply for universities was coming up, there were a lot of advanced placement exams coming, too. Although she attended fashion shows, she still got an A on all exams.
Yang Yuanning once held fashions shows to raise money for helping Chinese harelip children. She also took part in various nonprofit organizations to help poor people. In the Housing Plans her father impelled in Guatemala, Yang Yuanning was a major assistant. The plans were scheduled for the poor local people, including Village of Hope and City of Light. The Village of Hope plan had built beautiful and environmentally friendly houses with only US $11,000 per household, the goal of which was to help the middle and-low income families to get an affordable house. The City of Light plan was to build a town, including 2,000 households, commercial buildings, schools and hospitals, etc.
After Yang Yuanning went back to America, she often remembered those impoverished people there. The poor single mothers lived in small ratty houses with their children. They had to take 2-hour bus to work and often were humiliated by men. Once thinking of these, she could not help feeling sorry about it. Thus she actively put forward her best effort to help them, designing the instruction book for the plans. Besides the burdensome homework, during her spare time, she made dozens of international calls to ask for detailed data from different companies, and rewrote them into easy and simple introductions. And then she briefly reported her dream and methods to practice in front of the Guatemalan President.
“What do you expect in return for helping others?” somebody asked. “I want to see the people I helped being happy.” Yang Yuanning smiled. For her, it’s only the beginning of the line of her life of entering into Harvard. “I wish I could graduate from school sooner, and then I could help others as soon as I can.”, she said. In the movie Spider Man, the words influencing Spider Man most deeply were – “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.” – which was said by his uncle who raised him up. Yang Yuanning is only 20 years old, with an admired talented family nourishing her as well as testing her. Ultimately, however, what makes her shine is not the famous university, her beautiful appearance, or her talent; it is her heart full of mercy.
Original article was written by Qian Ma, translated by Shishi Ma, and edited by US interns Lauren Kam and Emily Cheng
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