Harvey Ma

“My students’ goal of one day starting a life outside of the mountains fueled me to do whatever it took to help them succeed.”

“This year, VTC changed my life. In the seven days I stayed in Shanxi, I was able to experience countless memories and achieve my unfinished goals from last year. As an older member, I had developed in maturity. With my dissatisfaction from last year, my motivation of helping my students succeed was the most important goal I had in mind. Watching my students wake up from 5AM and study until 11PM at night left me with unquestionable guilt. I realized that not everyone else in the world is fortunate enough to have clean water, healthy lifestyles or prosperous living conditions. I had taken my life for granted before the trip. My students’ goal of one day starting a life outside of the mountains fueled me to do whatever it took to help them succeed. Sometimes, I made harsher lessons that pushed the class to drive into the direction of their future, but by the end of the day, I always tried to be their friend and a person who could guide them to their dreams.

From this, I left them with an important message on the day we left: to keep on striving for greatness and to overcome any obstacles that may come their way because if they stop fighting for their goals, the challenges they face may steer them off of their future. While this may sound cheesy, it is the reality of this world, and once the day comes for them to graduate and leave, I will be waiting for them to begin a whole new journey. I will study harder in school and to live a more organized lifestyle now knowing that people around the world are doing the same but in environments that would punish them if they don’t try. I hope that my message is carried on to my students for the rest of their lives; because of them, I have learned countless lessons that I will cherish forever.”

– Harvey, VTC2018

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