Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2015, we also want to reflect on 2014, which was an exciting year for the Foundation. We have accomplished a great deal in such a short time, and the impact is showing.

Specifically, we are so thrilled to share with you that Florence Fang, a founding board member of the 100,000 Strong Foundation, received the “2014 CCTV Brilliance of China” award for her commitment to promoting Chinese culture! Past recipients include Nobel Prize-winning novelist Mo Yan, world-renowned entertainer Jackie Chan and NBA All-Star Yao Ming.

CCTV“I was born in China and adopted by the United States,” said Mrs. Fang, calling them her “two moms.” “My love for one country does not outweigh the other.” To honor Mrs. Fang’s contribution to US-China relations, four 100,000 Strong Foundation Student Ambassadors presented her with flowers at the “Brilliance of China” award ceremony on Friday, December 19th, 2014. It was a wonderful event, and we are so honored to be working with Mrs. Fang to grow the 100K Strong movement. Click here to watch the award ceremony.

The Foundation continues to build support across the country. In his keynote remarks at the US-China Business Council Gala last month, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad—a leader in promoting US-China trade and investment – stated:

“We must proactively work to nurture the capacity of young Americans to build future US-China relationships. That is why I am encouraged by the efforts of organizations—like the 100,000 Strong Foundation—that are working to strengthen US-China relations by increasing the number, and diversity, of American students learning Mandarin and studying in China.”

Other major achievements in 2014 include:

  • Surpassed the 100,000 student goal set out by President Obama in 2009.
  • Convened senior US and Chinese policy makers at 100,000 Strong events.
  • Established an Environmental Action Fund to support programs that bring together American and Chinese students to collaborate on projects related to environmental sustainability and climate change.
  • Created a 100,000 Strong Fellows Program to provide financial aid to students from underserved and underrepresented communities to study in China.
  • Partnered with over two dozen American educational institutions, including our Signature Partners, to help diversify study abroad to China.
  • Launched our first 100K Strong state initiative with Louisiana.
  • Published the 100,000 Strong Foundation Inaugural Signature Report.
  • Recruited over 200 Student Ambassadors to promote Mandarin language learning and study abroad at the grassroots level.
  • Hosted our inaugural Student Reunion, which united over 150 students from across the nation

I am humbled by what the Foundation has accomplished in 2014 and grateful to friends like you for your support. We have built a strong organization, and are ready for even bigger things in the weeks and months to come.

Best,

Carola McGiffert
President & CEO