"My dream is to make contributions to China's winter sports," said Zhang Chutong, a student from Northeast Normal University at the third round of applicant selections for the Honda Dreams Fund of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF) in early 2020. The judges were impressed by her academic grades, athletic skills, dedication and unswerving efforts to pursue her dreams. In the end, she passed the evaluation and received support from the fund.
Two years on, Zhang is realizing her dream as a member of China's short track speed skating team and a competitor at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
Zhang Chutong competes
Zhang Chutong's application for the CSCLF Honda Dreams Fund
Over the past two years, with support from the fund, Zhang has worked diligently to improve both her athletic abilities and academic prowess. During the evaluation activities, the fund saw her growth and progress. On Jan. 15, Zhang won first place in the Chinese Olympic short track speed skating trials Beijing Station Women's 1000m and will represent China in the short track speed skating events at the Beijing 2022.
In the past two decades, the foundation has helped many young people realize their dreams and contribute to society. It has established a service platform for people with cognitive disorders, carried out activities to popularize knowledge about geological disasters and organized summer camps in rural areas. It has witnessed the growth of ambitious teens like Zhang who take on a mission and shoulder responsibilities. They fight on the front line against COVID-19, contribute to rural vitalization, participate in key national projects and work in other fields.
"The support and encouragement of CSCLF Honda Dreams Fund has made me more determined to keep to my choice," Zhang said. "Here, I have seen many friends who have been chasing dreams like me. I'm inspired by them. No difficulties will hold me back until I fulfill my dream."
The fund expressed good wishes to Zhang for her Olympic journey and hoped all of China's youth can bring their dreams into fruition.
The China Soong Ching Ling Foundation University Student Scholarship Program provides both financial assistance and guidance, in a bid to cultivate talent for the country. Since the first university student scholarship program in 2003, the foundation has launched 33 university student scholarship programs with a total funding amount of over 450 million, covering more than 200 colleges and universities in 32 provinces and equivalent administrative divisions across the country.
The Honda Dream Fund was officially established by CSCLF and Honda China in 2017, with the aim of helping students with financial difficulties realize their dreams and create benefits for society.
(Source: Department of Fund, CSCLF)