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Hi potential donors,
My name is Li Yumei. I am 15 years old. I come from a poor area in the mountain districts, and I am a young girl in the Luu Chun District, Zheng Long Ding Village in Yunnan Province. I'm attending Luu Chun Second Middle School 9th Grade Class, group 202. I have an older sister, who is currently a senior in high school. I also have a younger brother, who is in the 6th grade at my school. At home, we have a total of 8 people, but we only have dad, mom and my older brother who can contribute to the labor needed. Grandma and grandpa are already old, in their seventies. Dad, mom, and my other brother are not only supporting my sister, younger brother, and I, but also supporting my grandparents. There's always so much to do at home, especially recently. As we continue to pursue our education, all our educational expenses rise exponentially. The family is being crushed under all this pressure, despite the fact that we try to save up a lot but it is never enough and I don't know how much longer we can do it. I also don't know how much more time I have to stay in school, but getting a good education has always been the dream and aspiration of my siblings and I. We really don't want to have to give it up, especially my sister who is about to go to college.

Ihe past year, my family's economic situation has worsened significantly. Because my older sister got into college, I am going into high school, and my brother is in middle school, our family's finances have started to run out. All the education expenses added together have created a large burden. My parents' shoulders have gotten much heavier.

Ever since I was little, my older brother and sister had been without their biological father, who passed away early. Their mother remarried shortly after. My father didn't have the heart to leave them as orphans, so he took them in and sent them to school and had them help around the house. Later, my older sister went to school despite tough economic times, so my older brother stayed home to help with the fields. She loved school so much and she always worked so hard to be number one.
As time passed, my little brother and I also grew old enough to go to school, but my parents had so much debt. Without a choice, my mom and older brother stayed at home to work on the farm. My dad took care of my grandparents and worked in the city to earn more income to help with tuition and school fees. Our entire family's income relies on these meager salaries to get by.

My village is poor. We only have a four room school with only 2 grades. When kids need to go to 3rd grade, they have to travel to the next village over. When we had to do this, we couldn't afford to buy any bikes or cars, so we walked altogether. It wasn't that far I guess, but for us elementary school kids at the time, it felt pretty tough. Every week's living allowance of 1 RMB was so nice. Now, due to inflation, we can't really afford much else after we pay for breakfast. There were a few weeks that we skipped breakfast just to buy our classroom supplies. I know it is so hard for my parents, so during vacation days, I'll try to help with the farm work. I know I'm not strong enough to be effective but I can at least relieve them for a bit.

I have thought about giving up on school despite my love for it. I just can't bear to see my paretns so tired and stressed all the time. We can get our tuition covered most of the time, but the expenses of school equipment, books, and other materials add up. When I brought up quitting school to my dad, he immediately dismissed it. He doesn't want me to be like him, working physical labor jobs all the time, and he hopes that we can grow up to live a better life than him. Ever since that incident, I have set my mind to continue school. In my heart, I vowed: I will work hard at school, making sure that I will not waste my parents' sacrifices. I will return the huge favor to my parents and loved ones to thank them for giving up so much for me. I want to thank everyone who has ever and will continue to support me in my educational endeavors. In the future, I will contribute to society in a productive way, earning pride for my country! I truly hope that you will help me complete my education and schooling. I need to work harder to give back to society, to help more people like me in the world one day.

With much hope and respect,

A snapshot of my last year:
During the past year, my studies have been very difficult for me. 9th grade has been much more difficult than prior years. After the end-of-middle-school exam, I got into a good high school in the area. My grades were in the top 30 within my district!


  • New Updates for this School Year!

    Hi everyone! It's a new school year, and I hope everyone's doing well! As for me, I am doing my best to learn as much as I can. I'm 5th overall in my class! My brother and I are both graduating from our schools this year, and my sister is in college, so finances are still a concern. Thank you so much for your support! For the rest of the updates:[font=OpenSansRegular, arial, sans-serif][img]/images/user/9174_4464856855909596459.png[/img] [img]/images/user/9174_11456351244205357907.png[/img][/font]
  • Li YuMei: Renewed for the school year!

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