Hope Scholarship Fund

The Hope Scholarship Fund is an United States non-profit organization whose mission is to "remove barriers inherent in poverty to provide hope and opportunities for a better quality of life through education to children in developing countries." The organization, which is involved with schools in China and Kenya, sponsors students and leads service projects to ensure that children in poverty-stricken areas have the opportunity to receive proper educations. In the summer of 2005, the organization's founder, Ted Mooncai, went on a trip to teach English to students at the Pang Liu Elementary School, a rural school near Xi'an, China. His experiences on this trip inspired him to take action to fight against the widespread poverty he saw:

The living conditions and extreme poverty were shocking. Meeting children who only get to eat one meal a day is an eye-opening experience for an affluent, well-sheltered sophomore attending a private high school in the States. Soon, I grew fond of the kids and wanted to give them what they hoped for in life--opportunities I took for granted. Their excitement towards their ambitions was contagious. It was distressing to me that their goals would be unobtainable--without additional help.

As I got further invested in helping, I learned about the problem with migrant students in China. Over 20 million school age children, 40% of whom are living under the poverty line, have been relocated from their rural villages to the outskirts of cities so their parents can find jobs in the city. Since public schools in China only enroll students with urban residential permits, these kids are excluded. As a result, the children face the threat of illiteracy and continued deprivation of opportunities. I founded The Hope Scholarship Fund to give children of families caught in the cycle of poverty the opportunity to pursue the life they wish to live. The student's drive and natural abilities, rather than their poverty, will be what determines the career path they can take.

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