171043 Ma XX, 10th Grade, Female

Translated by Neil Sun

I come from a remote mountainous area.  Both of my parents are disabled.  My father is deaf and blind, and my mother is suffered from severe arthritis and cannot bend her arms and feet.  She is frequently sick from weak immune system and need a lot of medications.  With family’s low income, we cannot afford the expensive medicines so she does not get medications as needed.

Before I was born, my parents adopted my step-sister.  It has not been easy to raise my step-sister with the limited income.  As a result, my step-sister has never received any formal schooling.  After I was born, my step-sister insisted that the family must have someone to be properly educated.  At her very young age, my step-sister commit to laborious farm work to help paying my tuition.   This arrangement lasted a few years.

This year, my 81-years-old father passed away.  I was deeply saddened along with the rest of my families.  The burden to maintain a household suddenly fell on my 54-years-old sickly and uneducated mother.  We are now living on a little amount of government pension and some crops from the field.

At one point, I told my mother that I would drop out of school to help.  But my Mom said: "You cannot have such a thought.  You must be educated and your task is to study hard.  Mom and Dad have no education.  But you must continue and complete your education.  We will support you to complete your education even if we do not eat or drink. "

As a child from the left-behind farming world, I believe the only factor to determine the course of my life is gaining knowledge!  I must study hard to fulfill my mother’s, my step-sister’s, my father’s and my own expectation.


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