1 Million Strong is a sweeping new initiative announced by President Barack Obama to expand to 1 million the number of US students studying Mandarin by 2020. The increase would be five-fold: currently, approximately 200,000 K-12 students are learning Mandarin in the United States.

The 100,000 Strong Foundation, a national non-profit created in 2013 to dramatically increase the number and diversity of US students studying in China and learning Mandarin, will lead the 1 Million Strong effort.


The 100,000 Strong Foundation followed 6 students with 6 diverse interests living in 6 cities across China. Each student was drawn to China for a different reason, and each discovered a new culture and a new home abroad. Where will you find YOUR China?


Ed Rapp is a group president and executive office member of Caterpillar Inc., a proud supporter of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.

In this video, Mr. Rapp offers a unique business perspective on the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s mission, and eloquently explains why student exchange and increased cultural understanding between the US and China is essential for our economic future.

Mr. Rapp calls 100,000 Strong “an extremely worthy cause that enhances American competitiveness and prepares our next generation of American leaders for a world in which US-China collaboration is absolutely essential.”

The i.am.angel Foundation has partnered with the UCLA Confucius Institute and the 100,000 Strong Foundation to bring Chinese classes and study abroad opportunities to the students of Boyle Heights in east Los Angeles.

The unique Chinese Alive! program incorporates music and performing arts into the teaching of Mandarin language. Students also get the chance to spend a summer in Beijing, in an immersive cultural experience that develops their leadership skills and broadens their world view. As will.i.am says. “Learning Mandarin and studying in China can be transformative. This program will give kids from my neighborhood the opportunity of a lifetime.”

As we continue our efforts to expand and diversify the number of Americans studying Mandarin and studying abroad in China, we are very pleased to launch the new 100,000 Strong Foundation promotional video. The video tells the story of the 100,000 Strong Foundation: who we are, what we are trying to accomplish and why our work is so vital to the future of US-China relations.

Check out the new pilot video from Project Pengyou, the alumni network of President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative. ProjectPengyou.org will serve over 100 programs that facilitate exchanges between the United States and China.

Jessica Beinecke’s latest US-China Chat explores how students at Washington, DC’s Gallaudet University are taking mandarin study, and the mission of 100K Strong, to another level by learning sign language in Chinese. Jessica talks with students studying “CSL,” and learns about the added challenges deaf students must overcome to master the Mandarin language.

Jessica Beinecke’s latest US-China Chat explores how 100K Strong is helping students in Washington, DC fulfill their dream of studying abroad in China and all the important benefits that go along with the experience.