Last week, scholarship recipient, Zoe Zhang, was awarded the HISD Youth Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Uyghurs children in Xinjiang, China. She also announced that she will be returning to the village this summer with her brother continue their great work!
For the past two summers, scholarship recipient Zoe Zhang has traveled to China’s Xinjiang province where she worked closely with the children of a small Central Asian ethnic minority called the Uyghur people. The Uyghurs are Muslim Turks, who identify more with the Turkish countries surrounding the region than China itself. They are often discriminated against and have a very difficult time moving beyond their remote villages to integrate into larger parts of the country. The region is quite poverty stricken and many of the students have limited access to education, let alone exposure to arts and music.
On Zoe’s first trip to Xinjiang, she used arts and music to teach English language skills and culture. This past summer, Zoe organized a program entitled, “Lights, Camera, Action,” which provided the students with digital cameras to learn how to express themselves through images and storytelling.
“As for camera collections, I am still collecting cameras for this summer’s endeavors. I have also raised $665 to purchase digital cameras to bring back this year. My brother will be joining me this year in my trip to Xinjiang and has plans to expand the project into sports and recreation. He is collecting lightly used to new jerseys, basketballs, and soccer balls to start a sports camp over the summer,” adds Zoe.
Zoe also informed us that she was given a full academic scholarship to Northwestern University! We could not be more proud of our Music Doing Good scholar!
“Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!! I am so grateful and blessed to have you as a mentor! I am so thankful for the entire Music Doing Good family,” Zoe says to program director, Rodney Waters.