Written by Yue Ma
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska
Tzu Chi USA Midwest Region held a Scholarship Award Ceremony on July 9, 2022. This year, there were six recipients, three of whom attended with their families to share the glory. During the event, the first held in person rather than online in over two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students could reconnect with familiar faces as well as make new friends.
As for the Tzu Chi volunteers at the ceremony, they hoped that with the help of these scholarships for students from low-income families, their studies wouldn’t be interrupted due to financial constraints. The scholarships are also a means to let them know that they’re not alone as they pursue an education. Hopefully, they’ll use their acquired knowledge to improve their opportunities in life and also give back to society.
The ceremony kicked off with a speech by Chong Hsieh, Executive Director of the Tzu Chi USA Midwest Region, who encouraged the recipients as he offered his joyful congratulations: “Welcome to the Tzu Chi family; we’re all very proud of you. You’re the 2022 Tzu Chi Scholarship Award winners, and I’m very grateful and happy to see you here. It’s the first time in two and a half years that the scholarship award ceremony has been held indoors since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Riches Tiv, one of the recipients, said, “I feel very different because it’s really good to finally be able to come inside and meet everyone again.” Paul Robin Diamzon, another recipient, was very excited too. He exclaimed, “It feels very familiar to be back here; it’s like when I was a college freshman two or three years ago, and I’m very happy to see everyone again today.”
Tzu Chi volunteer Kevin Borden was invited to participate in evaluating Tzu Chi scholarship applications for the first time, which was eye-opening: “This experience, learning about and empathizing with the financial difficulties or the family problems that some of the students are experiencing, has been enriching for me. You will learn to appreciate that every donation can have a great effect.”
The father of scholarship recipient Abigail Chaidez said, “Tzu Chi not only supports the children’s education but also conveys the positive spirit of goodness, which is very inspiring and moving to me. I’d love to be a part of your organization in the future, and I look forward to working with you to help others.”
It is the long-cherished wish of every Tzu Chi volunteer to help build the cornerstone of education for students from low-income families, to lift their dreams with love and kindness, and to guard their future so that they become a new force in society. Yet this is just one of Tzu Chi’s charity missions. Your generosity and love empower them all!