The 100,000 Strong Foundation has achieved a great deal in the 12 months since the last CPE was held in Beijing in July 2014. Most notably, this past fall, President Barack Obama announced that his goal of seeing 100,000 American youth study in China over the previous four years had not only been achieved, but also surpassed! We are proud to have been part of making this vision a reality.
Other achievements over the past 12 months include:
Growing Institutional Support:
- The Ford Foundation, which opened its China office in China in 1988, continues to support the 100,000 Strong Foundation through a three-year grant. Under the grant, 100,000 Strong is leading a national grassroots effort to generate greater demand for study abroad to China through conferences, social media and leadership training activities. In 1988, the Ford Foundation opened its office in Beijing with the support of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Over the years, Ford has supported the academic disciplines of economics, law and international relations, education, environment and sustainable development, and philanthropy.
- Other financial supporters include Avenues, Blackstone, Deloitte, the Florence Fang Family Foundation, GreenPoint Group, Hang Lung, LinkedIn, Panton, Perfect World, UPS, Walmart, Wanxiang N.A., and WorldStrides.
- We launched the 100,000 Strong Academic Advisory Council (AAC), comprised of university presidents and other leaders in the academic community. The AAC, chaired by George Washington University President Steven Knapp, will provide policy advise to the Foundation’s board of directors on issues related to US-China educational exchange.
Increasing Diversity in Study Abroad:
The 100,000 Strong Foundation is committed to increasing the diversity, as well as the number, of Americans who study Mandarin and study abroad in China. To that end, we have accomplished the following:
- 100,000 Strong and Xavier University of New Orleans, the first HBCU to host a Confucius Institute, have launched “Advance Louisiana” to expand Mandarin language learning and study abroad to public school students in New Orleans and throughout the state.
- 100,000 Strong CEO Carola McGiffert led a delegation of leaders from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to China in September 2014. The goal was to help Historically Black Colleges & Universities in the TMCF network to establish partnerships and educational exchange opportunities for their students with Chinese universities.
- We will lead delegation of presidents of Hispanic-Serving Institutes (HSIs), organized jointly with the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) and HanBan in October 2015. The goal is to help develop partnerships that will lead to more Latino Americans to study in China.
- 100,000 Strong was honored as the designated charity at AmCham China’s annual American Ball in May 2015. Proceeds will go to provide stipends and travel support to Americans with financial need.
- The 100,000 Strong Student Ambassador program will reach the 500-student mark by September 2015. These students (ages 14-28) represent the diversity of America, coming from a wide range of ethnic, economic and educational backgrounds, and hailing from at least 35 states across the country.
Facilitating Study Abroad:
- 100,000 Strong is a proud supporter of the new GOLD (US-China GO Learn Discover (GOLD) Internship Visa Program) introduced by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on China; and Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA), co-chair of the House China Working Group. The program will provide bilateral visa status for US and Chinese students to study, travel and work in each others’ countries.
- 100,000 Strong has directly supported scholarships and provided financial aid for high school students to study in China for summer programs, and aspires to become a grant-making organization by 2016.