SOURCE: Asia Society

Asia Society Celebrates 60

June 15, 2016 14:42 ET

U.S.-China Dialogue Announces 2016 Class of Young Scholars

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - June 15, 2016) - Asia Society's Center on U.S-China Relations and Beijing Normal University's Institute of International and Comparative Education announced today the second class of U.S.-China Dialogue Young Scholars (壮志计划). Five scholars were selected for this year's program, which brings Chinese college students of outstanding academic and personal character to the U.S. for a month of immersion in American public life. Expenses for each scholar are fully funded.

Over two years, the program has received more than 2,300 applications and accepted less than 1% of candidates, making it one of the world's most selective academic exchanges. Scholars are selected based on three core qualities: a strong sense of social responsibility, open-mindedness, and creativity. Finalists are interviewed in-person in China or via videoconference.

Among the 2016 scholars are a high school student who developed a smartphone app to track pollution levels, a young woman dedicated to educating rural youth, a young man committed to preserving the cultural heritage of China's minorities, a recent university graduate who started a conversation about domestic violence in China by using the arts, and a female leader working to revolutionize philanthropy in mainland China.

The program exposes Chinese university students to the many models of civic engagement in America. Scholars participate in the work of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations in New York and are mentored by leaders in the fields of philanthropy, education, journalism and entrepreneurship. In addition, they visit cultural, religious, and educational institutions, and nonprofits as well as for-profit companies engaged in an area with social impact.

The scholars' itinerary for 2016 includes visits to Washington, D.C. and Boston, and encompasses discussions with leaders from some of the foremost institutions in the world. Brooklyn Borough Hall, Clinton Foundation, Grand Central Tech accelerator, P-Tech High School in Brooklyn, and Yale-China Association are among the organizations the scholars will visit with this summer.

Before arriving in New York in late July, the scholars will complete a one-week training program in Hunan province with PEER, a Chinese-nonprofit organization that focuses on youth development in rural China. The scholars will identify community needs and each will lead a group of 10 middle school students.

The full list of 2016 U.S.-China Dialogue Young Scholars follows.

Chen Shihuan
Shunde City, Guangdong Province
Sun Yat-sen University

Chen Shihuan is a recent graduate of Sun Yat-sen University where she double majored in Chinese Language and Literature, and Sociology. She was a volunteer for the Feminist Spring Society, where she gathered oral histories and conducted interviews on the sexual and reproductive health of middle-aged women. Her observations led her, together with other volunteers, to write and put on a play to educate the public about domestic violence. She is interested in using the arts to create conversations about gender equality and domestic violence, as well as to help marginalized groups in Chinese society.

Dai Gaole
Changsha City, Hunan Province
Yali High School

Dai Gaole is a recent graduate of Yali High School in Hunan, China and will be joining the Class of 2020 at Yale University this fall. He ranked among the top 10 in the China Think Big competition, an innovation challenge run by Harvard University. His team developed a portable sensor capable of measuring levels of PM2.5, particularly dangerous air pollutants. The device connects to smartphones, and he is currently using it to crowd-source information in Changsha in order to map pollution levels in different parts of the city. He is interested in finding ways to leverage technology to address environmental problems.

Li Yingyu
University of International Business and Economics in Beijing

Li Yingyu is a junior at the University of International Business and Economics. She has interned at Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-sharing app, Accenture, an international business management consultancy, as well as at the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation. She provided consulting services for a number of Chinese NGOs through A Better Community (ABC), an organization that brings skills from industry professionals to Mainland Chinese NGOs. She also contributed research and writing to several reports on the state of volunteerism and fundraising in China. She is interested in finding ways to strengthen philanthropy in China.

Ma Xing
Tacheng City, Xinjiang Province
Renmin University of China

Ma Xing is a recent graduate of the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University of China. He supervised volunteers for the "Youth Ambassador Program for Minorities" at the TECC Association (Technology & Education Connecting Cultures). He also co-founded a social enterprise called "Folk Art Speaks," which aims to preserve the heritage and handicraft traditions of Chinese minority groups. Xing brings a keen interest in the issues faced by minority groups to the program.

Zhuo Yaqin
Hengyang City, Hunan Province
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Zhuo Yaqin is a sophomore at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies where she studies at the School of Finance. She worked at an organization that offers educational services to rural Chinese youth. There, she managed volunteer teachers, designed curricula, and taught lessons on sexual and reproductive health, as well as general education classes. She also started her own program where she uses toys to foster an interest in physical education and the arts in children. She is inspired by the potential education holds for improving the livelihood of rural communities.

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