Tzu Chi Scholarship Recipients Unite for a Special Award Ceremony in New York

Northeast  |  September 13, 2022
Tzu Chi volunteers greet scholarship recipients and their families. Photo/Hui Liu

Written by Pin Hau Chiou
Edited by Jiali Liu
Translated by Hong (Ariel) Chan
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto

On July 16, 2022, Tzu Chi USA’s Northeast Regional Office hosted its 2022 Scholarship Ceremony for 22 bright young students ready to embark on their next great academic journey. This event marked the regional office’s first indoor ceremony in two consecutive years, held alongside a live streaming session for all who wished to join in virtually.  

The pandemic, and all that has sprung from it, has changed the lives of many Americans, financially and beyond. Tzu Chi USA’s New York Chapter is committed to helping youths reach their potential — with confidence in themselves, in others, and in the wider world. Each and every child brims with potential, dreams, and is unique in their own capacity. Tzu Chi scholarships aim to ensure students have the support they need to thrive. 

Of the 22 students who received scholarships this year, five had invited their families to attend in person, and other awardee students had the opportunity to participate together online to witness these joyful moments.

Tzu Chi volunteers present medals to scholarship recipients. Photo/Hui Liu

Jiaxin Chen Weng, a second-generation Chinese American who was born in Colombia, came to New York to apply for the Tzu Chi Scholarship, and was selected. Due to a recent surgery, her award was accepted by her sister, Jenny Chen Weng, as a representative. “It was a great experience to participate in this event,” said Jenny in an interview. “I learned that Tzu Chi not only helped us, but also many families in the United States, Latin America, and Africa. I am very grateful that Tzu Chi helped us. Tzu Chi is now a part of our lives, and I hope that in the future, I will also have the opportunity to volunteer or donate to help people in similar circumstances.”

Xiaomin Wu, a member of the Tzu Chi Youth Association, whose members are also known as Tzu Shao, is also a scholarship recipient. She and her family expressed their wish to continue the cycle of love they felt, so that it might expand ever wider. “I will also pass on the altruism and gratitude that I learned from being a Tzu Shao to those in need,” Xiaomin Wu told volunteers.

Freeman Su, Executive Director of Tzu Chi USA’s Northeast Region (right), presents scholarships to recipients. Photo/Hui Liu

Jade Mckinney hopes to inspire fellow youths through personal action. “I want to be able to share the importance of performance and achievements with other young African-American children in our community, especially in film, media, and health,” said Jade Mckinney. “I think good role models allow children to learn.”

Estephani Flores expressed gratitude for Tzu Chi’s scholarship, and explained how the scholarship has helped with her family’s finances. “The amount from this scholarship may not be a lot, but it is very meaningful to me and my family,” Estephani said. “Because my mother’s income is not high, this could reduce her burden, and I will continue to apply for Tzu Chi scholarships in the future, which would be a great help to my family.”

Scholarship recipients take a photo with Tzu Chi volunteers. Photo/Hui Liu

We are very happy to see the earnestness of the awardees, not only in their academic performance, but also their hard work for their families and for the scholarship.

Youths pave the way to the future, and Tzu Chi hopes to empower their goals, while celebrating the impact that young people can have in our communities. Merging care and learning, we sincerely hope that every recipient can achieve their dreams, and add their love to the world. 

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