How it started
In 2013, I volunteered to teach English at an elementary school in Yushu, Sichuan, a region that had just been through one of the deadliest earthquakes in China’s recent history. When I arrived, I was shocked to learn that dozens of children and teenagers who had studied English for years couldn't correctly verbalize a sentence as simple as “Thank you very much.” The only person teaching English to hundreds of students was a Mandarin speaker initially hired as a math teacher.
Rural areas like Yushu are often left behind, with limited educational resources and few qualified teachers. It was disheartening to see how educational resources were unevenly and unfairly distributed in China, with rural students being overlooked and disconnected from the opportunities available to their metro-area peers. Access to the internet was widely available to students in most regions in China, but access to education wasn’t.
Who we fight for
During that same time, I met an orphan who had lost both of her parents in the earthquake. When I held her in my arms, I was struck by the thought that this baby girl, who’s roughly the same age as my younger sister, would likely grow up struggling to find adequate quality education. In contrast, my sister, who grew up living in a metropolis, would enjoy an abundance of educational resources.
Feeling her weight in my arms made me ruminate over their different life trajectories. And that seminal moment gave me a sense of purpose and lifelong goal — to provide equitable learning opportunities for the hundreds of millions of underprivileged children worldwide.
Where we are heading
Through many years of travel and living in different countries, I have witnessed how dedicated, personalized, and high-quality education can have a significant and life-changing impact on individuals. I realized that inequality in education is a universal concern that affects just about every country worldwide.
After years of research and preparation, I launched HiLink with several like-minded friends who want to bring changes to the world through technological innovations. We are designing an online learning environment to bring together all K-12 learners and educators, regardless of their geographic locations.
HiLink is committed to our goal because we are not in this for ourselves — we are fighting for that baby girl and hundreds of millions of children just like her.