Today I am blogging from Singapore; I have traveled over for a quick visit to catch up with one of the Blue Dragon kids - I'll call him "Nam" - who is studying here at Chatsworth International School. I first wrote about Nam going to Chatsworth here.
Being offered a scholarship to Chatsworth felt like winning the lottery. Blue Dragon has been extremely fortunate to receive strong support from several great schools in Singapore, but the day we were invited to send a Blue Dragon kid to study at Chatsworth, I felt like crying with joy.
For Nam, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. He's close to finishing his first year, and will have 3 more years of study to follow. Upon graduation, he will have a certificate that will allow him to apply for whatever university or job he chooses. Even more than that, he will have a set of life experiences, and friends, that will be invaluable to him moving on to a great career.
But life in Singapore isn't all sweet and easy for Nam. He's far from friends and family: this year was the first time he's ever been away from home at Lunar New Year. Not a happy experience. And of course he's studying in a second language, alongside students whose own lives have until now been vastly different to his own.
Chatting with Nam over the last couple of days, I can see that he's determined to do his best and to make this scholarship work. It's Sunday morning, and I've been ditched because he has homework to do - he has his priorities!
Nam is starting to talk about his dream of one day being able to help other disadvantaged kids, just as he was helped. He already has some ideas about what he might do. It's a long road ahead, but it sure is gratifying to know that he is thinking not only about how much more he will gain, but also about what he will be able to put back in.