I had the honor of speaking at the 5th Annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing last week. The CPE, led by Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice Premier Liu Yandong, is the preeminent bilateral vehicle through which the two countries explore ways to deepen mutual understanding between our two peoples.
My message at the CPE: we’ve done it!
Yes, we have officially surpassed the 100,000 student target that President Obama set in 2009! In the four years since 100,000 Strong was officially launched by then-Secretary Hillary Rodham CIinton and Madame Liu Yandong in May 2010, more than 100,000 young Americans went to China to study. In the process, they developed close friendships with Chinese peers, gained deeper understanding of Chinese culture, and learned critical cross-cultural skills that will benefit them in their academic and professional futures. As a result, we have 100,000 young ambassadors who know firsthand the value of a China experience.
But this is just the beginning. These 100,000 students are the foundation on which we will continue to build. That is why we have established a new partnership with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), launched a major new scholarship campaign, and announced our inaugural Student Reunion (November 2014). For a full list of deliverables, read our press release. To read President Obama’s message to the CPE, including his recognition of the 100K Strong Foundation, click here.
Of course, we couldn’t do all this without the active engagement of our top supporters. I am delighted to announce that the Ford Foundation and WorldStrides have renewed their support for the Foundation.
Finally, welcome to Avenues: The World School, the newest member of the 100K Strong team! Avenues is envisioned as a single school, serving children from pre-K through grade 12 with campuses in many of the world’s great cities—a community in which students, faculty members and administrators can learn together in an educational melting pot. Thank you for your support!
As I acknowledged in my Huffington Post blog post last week, despite all these exciting developments, we recognize that 100K Strong is a long-term investment in the US-China relationship and our work is not yet done.
Thanks for your support,
President & CEO