After an article written by an 18-year-old who overcame poverty and other challenges to gain admission to Peking University went viral, the girl made a public appeal in a letter that she did not want any donation.
"I’m aware of your generosity and kindheartedness, but I do not want all the love and warmness to be showered only on me. I hope you will warm the heart of people who are more in need," Wang Xinyi from Zaoqiang county in Heibei province wrote.
Thanks to her own efforts and hard work and her mother's support, Wang scored 707 in this year's gaokao, or China's college entrance examination, and enrolled in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Peking University.
The Zaoqiang county is an impoverished county with extremely low per capital income. Wang has two brothers and both her mother and grandfather are ill. The whole family only lives on small farmland and whatever her father’s earns.
In her "Thank you poverty" article, Wang wrote about poverty and how she coped with it.
Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer but the family had no money for treatment. It was her first bitter taste of poverty when she lost her grandmother. Having no money also brought problems of clothing and commuting to school.
Once a boy in junior high school made fun of Wang's faded jacket and called it "old and dull" because the sleeves stuck out. She went back home in tears but her mother comforted her by saying "ignore him, just do your work." Wang realized that she should not live on other’s terms. She wore that jacket in all three years of junior high school and still has not forgotten her mother’s words.
The whole family only had one bicycle and the road to school was in a bad condition. Once on a snowy day, the bike refused to run on the road covered by thick snow. Braving bad weather, Wang's mother walked to school to pick up her and her younger brother. The sister and the brother were both excited on their way home, telling what they learned at school to their mother.
Though Wang grew up in extreme difficulties, she never gave up moving on.
"I do not believe in palm lines but I do believe in the power of palm and fingers combined," Wang quoted Bi Shumin, a female writer in China. "No failure could stop me from pursuing truth," she added.
Wang got enrolled in Zaoqiang senior high school as the top achiever in senior high school entrance examination of the county. In three years of senior high school, she always ranked among the top three. She also won prizes in Chinese Basic Knowledge and Creation Competition, Chinese Physics Olympiad and Chinese Chemistry Olympiad.
"The joy of exploring new knowledge is way more than the bitterness and saltiness of sweat. The hardship is nothing compared to teacher's instruction, schoolmate's friendship and school's care," Wang wrote in the article.
Wang was teaching at an after-school training institution away from home to earn some money when her admission letter from Peking University was delivered to her home.
"Although it narrows my vision, stabs my self-esteem, and even takes the lives of my loved ones indirectly, I still want to say, thank you, poverty," Wang wrote in the article.
She thanked poverty for making her realize what is true happiness and satisfaction, for giving her opportunity to be close to nature, for making her firmly believe the power of knowledge and for giving her hope and unyielding spirit.