Through the Asia Pacific Innovation Center (APIC), five students volunteered at the Jack Ma Foundation in Hangzhou, China this July. They worked as teaching assistants for an initiative aiming to train Chinese rural educators coming from some of the most underdeveloped areas. At the end of the program, Ma spoke with the students and shared his ideas on education.
“As a new student, I am so glad that I could be part of something so meaningful, as I had chances to meet so many educators from Chinese rural area as well as teachers from Hangzhou Normal University and Jack Ma Foundation,” said Anthony Cai ‘23, who was also impressed by the various teaching methods he observed. One such method involved project-based learning utilizing Legos to help educators learn about leadership, teamwork, and more.
Eve Cai ’21 was inspired by the teachers, and she “felt so fortune to be part of the initiative just by assisting these educators from rural areas.”
Sophie Dong ’23 hopes to volunteer at Jack Ma Foundation again next year, saying “not only have I gained valuable friendships, I learned so much, in various perspectives, on Chinese rural education.”
In his reflection on the experience, Martin Yao ’21 wrote “thanks to APIC, I could be part of the volunteer program. More importantly, I had the opportunity seeing challenges in the rural area and the passion demonstrated in those who devoted their lives into bringing meaningful changes in education.”
For Victoria Tao ‘22, it was her second time working with the Jack Ma Foundation, and she was happy to volunteer in her hometown of Hangzhou. Not only did she share the sentiments of her four peers, but also noted that “our human need in society is to do something with a true heart, not just for a utilitarian purpose, so we can feel the warmth of the world.”
Thank you to APIC for providing this update and accompanying photo.