September 8, 2009
The SOAR Foundation is a charitable foundation established 15 years ago, to dedicate to the support of rural China’s poor students who are on the verge of losing their opportunities to continued academic pursuits for economical reasons. In the 15 years of our operations, we have disbursed close to 20,000 scholarships (US$100 per school year for a junior high student, and $300 for a senior high school attendee) among about 6,000 students. There are, at the moment, about 2,700 students throughout China (including Taiwan) receiving SOAR scholarship in this 2008-2009 academic year.
The monetary subsidy changed the lives of our recipients by providing them the opportunities to continue their studies. Many of them are able to getting or even complete their university education due to SOAR scholarship. The feed-backs we have received from them are so touching and encouraging that have kept us at SOAR to forge ahead with our best efforts on a sustaining basis in the past 15 years.
In the past couple of years, SOAR has been extending into vocational education assistances to poor Chinese rural students as new trial projects:
For instance, we have inaugurated a program in Kun-ming, Yun-nan by cooperating with a local vocational school to train 100-plus students per semester (now in our 4th semester) with our self-developed curriculum, negotiated with various industries by SOAR to provide required skills to enable our students to become immediately employable after training.
Another program involves a specific donation to help a north-west Chinese vocational college to be able to set up two work-shops with machineries they have no financial means to procure. The two work-shops are now in function to provide hands-on training and experience for their students to learn the skills of maintenance of household utilities, such as TV units, Air-conditioners, etc.
SOAR is organized by all volunteers, and not one person receives any kind of financial remuneration throughout these many years. We work with our selected “sponsors” (educators, school principals and teachers) throughout China to nominate candidates, and we have set up review committee in the US to evaluate and distribute the scholarship directly, without the intrusion of any third party.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Dishing out about 20,000 scholarship to about 6,000 rural Chinese poor and acedemically excellent students, to enable them to continue and finish their junior and high schools. Thus change their lives.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Any volunteer of SOAR, including myself, is already a part of the body that runs the organization.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
As a happy volunteer, to be aware that what I do changes the lives of thousands of students in rural Chinese poor area.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
Conscientious, elite in their own field of works, generous, diligent, selflessness. All these good human qualities cannot describe the excellent bunch of human beings working at SOAR, without any financial or other remuneration.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
Save more poor students from being deprived with their opportunity to continue their studies due to economical reason. To extend to other educational oriented suplements to help more youngsters to change their lives and future.
Ways to make it better...
I could have more time and energy to contribute more to the Foundation.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
Fund raising. To get more money for the poor and excellent students that need our help.
One thing I'd also say is that...
We need more good and conscientious people to join the SOAR Foundation to strengthen our forces to help more youngsters.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & I help raising fund for the Foundation to dispatch as scholarship.