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Chinese firms reach out to youth

Updated: 2016-08-29 10:05
By LIA ZHU in San Francisco (chinadaily.com.cn)

Chinese firms reach out to youth

Volunteers organized by China Enterprise Council and underserved children in Los Angeles County exchange ideas on Saturday at a "Community Day" event. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

More than 20 Chinese enterprises in Southern California teamed up with local youth clubs on Sunday to help underserved children learn about China and the Chinese people's daily lives, as part of a Community Day drive.

This year, the China Enterprise Council (CEC) partnered with the Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys and Girls Clubs to launch a session on Discovering China on Saturday in Whitter, California.

More than 100 children exchanged ideas with over 60 executives and employees from 20 Chinese companies, including Air China, BYD Motors, China Telecom Americas and the Wanda Group.

The annual Community Day was initiated by CEC in 2013 to provide its members opportunities to reach out and directly give back to the community.

"Children are the future and hope of the world. We hope the youth can learn more about China and about the world," said Zhang Xuming, president of AVIC International USA and also CEC's president. "It's wonderful to see more and more companies participating, deepening the communication and understanding with the community, which will benefit US-China relations."

During the event, Chinese executives shared their life and work experiences both in the US and China.

The children also took a quiz on China and were awarded prizes provided by Huawei Technology USA and Peak Sports — the latest electronic product TalkBand 2, shirts autographed by San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker and Lakers player Lou Williams basketballs.

"It's great to learn about their experience and inspiring to know that they never gave up when they encountered difficulties and obstacles to accomplish their dreams in the end," said Benjamin Vazquez, a teenager from Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.

Most of the children were underserved and of minority groups who most likely will never have the opportunity to visit China, according to Mary Hewitt, executive director of Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs, which serves more than 140,000 youths aged 6-18 throughout the county.

"This provides our youth information and access to things they can't necessarily learn in a book. Having someone from China talk about how the Chinese live and go to school is priceless to many of our kids," she said.

"Today's program is important because it helps our children see possibilities beyond what they experience every day. Through education and the sharing of experiences by these senior Chinese executives, we envision each child having access to the greater world and the opportunities that lie beyond," said Hewitt.

On behalf of the Chinese executives, Stella Li, president of BYD Motors, said, "It's great to be able to participate in such meaningful efforts. The story of BYD is about realizing dreams, and we look forward to helping youth understand the new technology that will transform our world."

The CEC's community drive has entered its fourth year. In 2013, they partnered with the Meals on Wheels Organization in Santa Monica to help provide nutritious meals to homebound adults and seniors. In 2014, they organized a School Day at Dana Middle School, in San Pedro, to teach Chinese culture and help promote financial literacy to youth. Last year, CEC worked with local food banks to help support hunger relief in the region.

A non-profit founded in 1993, CEC serves Chinese companies that are investing and doing business in Southern California, particularly in the greater Los Angeles area. Its more than 100 members include established and growing companies.


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