Henry Lin and Dylan Rothman visit China: Former students make a difference through the Ren Foundation

Nicole Nappi, Contributing Writer

Over the summer, Schreiber alumni Henry Lin and Dylan Rothman (Class of 2015) visited China to do volunteer work through their organization: The Ren Foundation, which is a nonprofit that has the goal of helping children in poverty living in China.  It intends to create a link between The American and Chinese cultures.

In order to promote change in educational policies, Lin and Rothman traveled through China with the objective of learning about the everyday life of the Chinese people and to helping young children learn and grow.

A fundraising concert hosted in June 2015 at Schreiber and an appreciated donation from the Rotar Club helped Lin and Rothman raise $2837. This money went towards purchasing and ultimately donating 500 pairs of rain boots, 500 backpacks, and a laptop to one of the local schools.

“We started by donating much-needed supplies to the children of the local community we visited.  Supplies like backpacks, writing tools, and rain boots are scarce, and most children don’t have them,” said Rothman.

The children shared different aspects of their culture with the duo.  For example, they taught Lin and Rothman about local herbs and traditional games.  During their time there, Lin and Rothman were able to get a glimpse at a completely different way of life.

“I learned what true poverty is by living in it, if only for a very short amount of time. The first night I arrived in the village, I was shocked by how dilapidated the buildings were and how the locals live with so little. We were so far from an urban area, and I realized that the locals have no medical or dental care, and are basically on their own when it comes to life,” said Lin.

Lin and Rothman feel that, as a country, we do not realize that other nations are facing issues far worse than our own.

Experiencing life in a remote society that has not really advanced with the rest of the world was a challenging adjustment to face, especially compared to growing up in a place like Port.

“I think that my experience in China helped me become more compassionate towards foreign people in America and motivated me to appreciate the opportunities and advantages I don’t even notice in my life,” said Rothman.

Rothman feels this experience has only brought upon positive attributes within his personality.  He thinks it has bettered him as a person, and taught him to appreciate what he has.

“This was such a positive experience.  I have forged lasting memories that I am confident will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Rothman.