Future Leaders Travel to China!

Shayne Swift Start Date: Dec 1, 2017 - End Date: Mar 31, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad

My Travel Story

by: Shayne Swift Start Date: Dec 1, 2017 - End Date: Mar 31, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad
Our children were barely 4 years old when, as lively and inquisitive youngsters, they began an unusual, yet incredible, educational journey at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, a Chinese immersion school in Washington DC. They come from diverse backgrounds, interconnected in their family’s belief that they could be a bridge to the world.  We strive as their parents to instill in them a sense of leadership and responsibility for the world they are inheriting, and to fully take advantage of the improbable gift of growing up fully bilingual in English and Mandarin.

Today, many of our children aspire to be engineers, scientists, diplomats, activists, musicians, lawyers, architects, and doctors, and even to run for public office one day! They desire to be world leaders, help others, and make their country and the world a better place than they’ve found it.

It is for this reason that we are asking for your financial contribution to help our children go on an educational tour to China in the summer of 2018. The experiences they will have while traveling, living with a Chinese family, building bonds with their Chinese counterparts, and experiencing the culture and language they’ve studied most of their lives, will serve as life-long lessons and will undoubtedly advance their perspective of themselves and their role in this world.

The trip, organized with Total Immersion Experience, costs $3300 per child, not including the costs for the accompanying parent. Washington YuYing, as a public charter school, does not have the resources to support our trip financially. Paying for it is an extremely daunting challenge for every family in our group, yet we are optimistic that with support from the larger community, we can raise the funds necessary to allow our children to go on this trip, regardless of the economic status of their family.

Our collective goal is to raise $45,000 for the students in the group. Every $50, $500 or $1000 adds up! We greatly appreciate any assistance you are able to provide and thank you in advance for your help.  Help us make this happen! Please give often and generously if possible: we can only do this with your support!


  • Kelsey

    Kelsey has a special love for Chinese language and culture. Kelsey started the Chinese immersion program at Washington Yu Ying when she was 4 years old. Before her first day she was pretty nervous and had many questions as she was not previously exposed to the language. How will I ask the teacher to go to the bathroom, mommy? Will the teacher only speak Chinese what am I going to do? I will not understand anything. I reassured her it would be just fine. “I don’t know mommy” was the response I got from Kelsey.

    After a few months of attendance, Kelsey learned about the 5th grade trip to China. She became less apprehensive about the Chinese language and focused all her energy on making it to the 5th grade. I can’t wait”, the 5th Graders are going to China, I want to go to China, I’ll be the best at Chinese…”

    Since then, Kelsey has represented her school in several Chinese Bridge Competitions and consistently seeks out conversational Chinese and Chinese song and dance classes in the after-school program in an effort to improve her Chinese language and cultural skills.

    Today Kelsey is in 5th Grade and she is still very excited about going to China. We’ve had the privilege of hosting a Chinese exchange student which enabled Kelsey to share her own culture (a blend of Guyanese, Jamaican and American) and practice her Chinese.

    Although Kelsey contends that “eating real Chinese Food” and “seeing the Great Wall” are two of her main reasons for going to China, I think that she will truly enjoy the immersion experience, living with and working with children her age. I truly believe that in addition to strengthening her Chinese language skills, this experience will help her to become a better global citizen as she has expressed an interest in sharing videos, pictures and information of iconic places in the United States with her host family and new Chinese friends.
  • Coreah

    Coreah R. started learning Chinese when she was 3. She remembers learning Chinese numbers at the same time she was learning to count in English. Coreah started at Yu Ying Public Charter School when she turned 4 and also began studying Mandarin at the Hope Chinese School on Saturdays shortly thereafter. In 2015, Coreah earned a special award for academic achievement in Mandarin at Hope Chinese. Coreah studied Chinese at Yu Ying for 6 years and now continues her Chinese studies at the University of Maryland's Confucius Institute. She also enjoys speaking Mandarin with her little sister who now attends Yu Ying.

    Coreah is passionate about learning and practicing the chinese language--taking opportunities to make connections and improve her language skills inside and outside of the classroom. Coreah participated in the Chinese Language Stars competition at Yu Ying for two years. She and her classmates won top awards for their performances at the Chinese Bridge Competition at the Confucius Institute (UMD) for two years in a row. Also fully embracing Chinese culture, Coreah has performed with a Kung Fu group at DC Asia Fest and at a half-time performance at the Verizon Center. Coreah was thrilled at a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing with the Yu Ying choir during a 3-day performance with the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and then later performed for the US Chamber of Commerce China Center.

    Coreah is an avid writer and reader and has volunteered as a "mystery reader" reading Chinese to younger students at Yu Ying.
    Coreah also believes in giving back to the community and has volunteered at various events to help the homeless in the DC area: packing lunches and distributing them at a local homeless shelter, packaging donated toiletries for homeless veterans, and organizing food packages at a local food bank. She also joined her Girl Scout troop in singing holiday carols and delivering special gifts to senior citizens at a local center for the elderly.

    Coreah says that one of her favorite memories is visiting the White House ceremony celebrating Chinese President Xi's visit with President Obama. On her trip to China, Coreah is most excited about attending school/camp with a chinese student to observe family life and learn some of the games kids play in China. After the trip, Coreah plans to write about her experience and share her story with younger kids to encourage them to travel abroad.