The FERC committee and friends with the students
from Chiang Mai Region IV who received scholarships.
Board members of the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children,
scholarship committee members, fund-raising musicians and many other guests
recently gathered with students, their families and school officials at the
Region IV Department of Education offices in San Patong to present
scholarships to five outstanding high school, (matayom), students.
Supplementary scholarships were also awarded to ninety-two other young
people. Funding for the scholarships came from the organization’s “Sweet
Charities” event, individual donors and the fund-raising efforts in
California of the foundation’s North America representative, Steve Deering.
Donations from the United States flow through Give2Asia, a special
tax-deductible charity account. Local donors included Jane Redgrove, who
provided a scholarship for one of the young girls, and Margaret and Harry
Deelman, who funded a two year scholarship.
Recipients were chosen on the recommendations of the students’ teachers and
school administrators. Matayom scholarship recipients were also interviewed
and recommended by members of the FERC Scholarship Committee, Glynn Morgan
and David Geddes, both professional educators, who will monitor their
progress during the school year.
FERC board members and friends were welcomed and a special certificate of
appreciation was presented to the foundation by Region IV representatives.
Marc Dumur, chairman of the foundation, accepted the award and spoke briefly
to the students about the importance of education in their lives. One of the
scholarship recipients, Wimala Saelee of Maewang District, addressed the
gathering and thanked the foundation and its supporters in English, and
noted the difficulties that many students face in completing their
education. Board members and guests were then given the opportunity to award
each scholarship, creating a steady stream of uniforms as the ninety-seven
students came forward.
The matayom students were interviewed after the presentation of
scholarships. They have different skills and goals, but each has
demonstrated an enthusiasm for a good education and is willing to work for
it. They come from families both large and small; one student is an only
child, another has nine siblings. There are two girls and three boys in this
group; representing both Thai and ethnic tribal children.
Overwhelmingly, they want to make their parents’ lives better. Wimala hopes
to go to university and become an English teacher; at present she helps her
parents on weekends in their flower business. Chadarot Kuenkum wants to
attend university and become a biology teacher, and is concerned that the
present state of the economy has had a negative impact on her mother’s saa
paper business. Sirawit Jerchokchai, whose parents are farmers, plans to
become a mechanical engineer, and has set his sights on Chiang Mai
University because of its excellent engineering department. Yutthapong
Inkae, whose father is deceased, plans to become a computer science and
mathematics teacher, and appreciates how important computer studies are to
his future and that of other Thai students.
The board of FERC and its supporters extend their congratulations to these
outstanding young people. For further information on FERC’s scholarship
program, you are invited to visit its website, www.thai-rural-education.org.