How a Poor Taiwanese Student Was Helped to Study in the United States

Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University (Image: Google)

The “Foundation of Helping Underprivileged Students,” established by the Taipei City Department of Education 20 years ago, has helped many low-income students in Taiwan finish their school education. This year, for the first time in its history, a student helped by the program will enter graduate school at Columbia University in the United States to study biostatistics.

According to the Central News Agency, Lin Pong-ling graduated from Taiwan’s Tsing Hua University and will enter graduate school in the United States in the fall of 2017.

In Lin’s early years, his father’s factory in China closed and the whole family was in debt. They kept moving because they lacked the money to pay for rent. They did not eat regularly. In their poorest days, the whole family of four once shared a bowl of dessert drink for a meal.

Each time somebody knocked at the door, Lin would be frightened that it might be the landlord asking for the rent, or a creditor to collect a debt.

Lin Peng-Ling (Left) and Qiu Shu-Tzi

Lin Pong-ling (L) and Qiu Shu-zhi. (Image: Courtesy of Foundation of Helping Underprivileged Students, Taipei City Department of Education )

When Lin entered high school, he had the opportunity to obtain financial support from Qiu Shu-Zhi from the “Foundation of Helping Underprivileged Students.” He also worked part-time and gradually settled down.

Lin said the financial support from Qiu helped him greatly, especially when his family was in a miserable situation. He often thought that he would surely help somebody else in the future in the way he had been helped when he had the ability to do so.

Lin is a smart and hard-working student. He entered the locally prestigious Taiwan Tsing Hua University and conducted research projects under his instructors. Their research findings were published in an international journal, and he obtained a scholarship to present the paper in Vienna.

This event developed his interest in biological studies, and he was accepted by the Institute of Biostatistics, Columbia University, to pursue an advanced degree. He will apply for student loans from the government, and his supporter Qiu Shu-Zhi will support his daily life expenses when he studies in the United States.

Translated research by Mona Song, translated by Audrey Wang

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