Dear EGRC Supporters –
We hope you had a wonderful summer. September is here. At EGRC, September means a new start with the beginning of the school year. In this newsletter, we will update you on how our girls spent their summer and what this new school year means for us and the many girls in our programs.
In early summer we celebrated the graduation of 35 university and 101 high school students. Among the university graduates, five started their master’s programs this month, 17 found employment, and 13 are preparing for exams to become teachers and government employees.
62% of our high school graduates have been accepted by various universities. This is the best record in EGRC’s history compared to 42% in 2021, and 25% four years ago. The rest of the high school graduates are either going to attend vocational training schools or repeat Grade 12.
Selection of New University Students
In August, EGRC China staff selected a total of 65 new university students – 42 are from Gansu Province and 23 from Yunnan. Compared to the past, we doubled the number of new university students this year. Among the 65 newly selected students, 30 were sponsored by EGRC during their high school studies, and 11 are Tibetan, Zhuang and Yi minorities.
The newly selected students from Gansu were able to gather in person with senior EGRC students. They learned more about EGRC, made new friends, and were paired with peer mentors. Now they have embarked on an exciting and important new chapter of their lives. The selection of the new high school students will start in mid-September.
English Learning Camp
The bi-annual online English learning camp took place in late July. 45 university students participated and most of them also took the weekly online English classes during the school year. These English classes focus on speaking, listening and exploring different cultures. The online English classes have been taught by qualified ESL teachers from three different continents. All the teachers are volunteers.
The Erickson International Coaching China division has chosen EGRC as one of its charity partners. The partnership started last year and this time, 45 EGRC university students and graduates were paired with professional coaches for six sessions of coaching. The project concluded at the end of August and the feedback from the participants is overwhelmingly positive.
In Yunnan, we conducted a workshop for the first time on sex education and How to Say No. 92 EGRC sponsored high school students participated. This was also the first time that such a workshop was conducted by EGRC’s own staff, the program manager Alina Lang. Alina has had several years of experience teaching and training rural high school students before she joined EGRC, and sex education was one of the subjects which she has taught before. Sex education is important for high school-aged youth but it is not taught in public schools.
The unpredictable lockdowns in various provinces and cities in China has made our work extra challenging. We had to cancel different annual events such as the “Be Best of You” in Lanzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, the students/parents training and the alumni leader and staff retreat. Luckily, there was a period in August when our staff were able to travel to rural Gansu and Yunnan to select the new university students and visit our high school students.
Overall, despite the challenges, EGRC has had another productive and successful year. This achievement is largely due to our capable and dedicated team members in China and Canada, and our loyal donors, supporters and volunteers.