The "Yuanta-FJU Dreams Take Flight Rural Education Program", which has long provided aid to support students in rural communities, has now entered its ninth year. The program's 2019 fall semester "growth camp" and awards ceremony were recently held at Fu Jen University's Chau-Yun Building. A total of 109 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students from across Taiwan were awarded academic scholarships. In addition to providing the students with grants to support their education, on the day of the event, a course in the cultural heritage and music of the Atayal people was also organized to provide students with new knowledge and expand their vision and horizon for learning.
Yuanta Foundation President Robert C.S. Yang remarked that from 2011 to the present, the Yuanta Financial Holdings, the Yuanta Foundation, and Fu Jen University's joint initiative, the "Yuanta-FJU Dreams Take Flight Rural Education Program" had granted a total of 1,212 scholarships, supporting students to continue on their path to realizing their dreams. Mr. Yang said to the students, "Remember how you are touched now by the assistance of others. That feeling will last in your hearts for a long time." He also urged the students to think of themselves as a team, and as members of a team, they should help and care for each other and continue the cycle of giving by further extending their help to others. The society will become a more caring place because of them.
This year's 109 scholarship recipients included nine pairs of siblings. The grant from the "Yuanta-FJU Dreams Take Flight" not only will enable students to continue their education but may transform the lives of the whole family. Chia-I Wang and Li-Ling Wang are one of the pairs. After graduating from junior high school, the two sisters left their hometown to pursue their education. They took up part-time jobs in their free time after school, so they would not have to ask for financial assistance from their family, which contributed to building their personality as an independent person. The grant from the program will lighten their financial load and allow them to focus on their studies. They said simultaneously, "Thanks to Yuanta for giving me the courage to pursue my education and explore a wider world." Chia-I Wang who is majoring in child care mentioned, "I will continue to pursue my studies diligently. In the future, I hope to use the power of education to help other people."
The "growth camp" invited Dali Yealo to give a lecture on the cultural heritage and music of the Atayal people. With four songs, he introduced the history and culture of the Atayal tribe. Dali Yealo and his son Dali Daya are responsible for the composition and the lyrics for three of the songs. Each song represents the deep emotions and the tight attachment he has with his family. Dali Yealo and his family have committed tremendous efforts in promoting the cultural heritage of indigenous people and hope that through music the aboriginal heritage can be spread to more people. He shared the lessons he gained in the process of passing on the heritage and encouraged students to get to know themselves. His daughter Bedai and son Daya both were awarded scholarship by the program in the past. He expressed his sincere gratitude to Yuanta for enabling his children to pursue their interest in music without having to worry about tuition.
"Students could not choose their family, but Yuanta has provided an atmosphere for students to grow and flourish," said Tze-Han Lu, the Director of the Fu Jen University Rural Education Center, who has been devoted to serving the rural communities for over 20 years. Every child from an economically- disadvantaged family is like a growing tree. As the tree grows, its branches will become a place for birds to nestle on and provide cover against wind and rain and just as a tree, these children will one day have the ability to help others. She thanked Yuanta for the support along the way in giving students an opportunity to grow and blossom in the Yuanta family and noted that some are already starting to join the ranks of volunteers in providing assistance and care to others, adding a new flow of positive energy into society. "We would like Granny Tu, the founder of the program, to know that there are numerous trees growing here and they have grown to be tall and strong."
Li-Jung Wen, a teacher at the Yuli book house, who attended the event despite being ill, expressed, "Even though I am not feeling well, I had to come because this is an extremely exciting and moving program." She gave her special thanks to Yuanta and FJU for assisting students who lack the resources to continue their studies an opportunity to do so. She also shared a story about a student in Yuli who has made attending Fu Jen University as her academic goal because she had received tremendous encouragement from FJU mentors, expressing the hope to "pass on the same spirit to younger generations in the future."