Scholar Lorie Ann Cascaro shared her moment when she had dinner with Alex Boome, Program director of the Hinrich Foundation, with all of the Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholars – and the VF Corporation and Global Sources joint scholars from Mainland China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Hinrich scholar - Alex with Hinrich scholars
Alex Boome (1st one, second row from the left), Program director of the Hinrich Foundation.

With all of the Hinrich Globla Trade Leader Scholars – and the VF Corporation and Global Sources joint scholars from Mainland China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Students from different countries get together

It was not an ordinary evening for the Hong Kong scholars. Hinrich Foundation (HF) program director Alex Boome and education and training coordinator Le Minh Chau (Tina) prepared a dinner for the scholars in Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) and City Hong Kong University (CHKU) last September 11 at the Harbour Plaza Metropolis in Hung Hom.

VF Corporation’s Maria Chan and Ashley So, and Avron Boretz of HF Hong Kong also joined to welcome the scholars.

It was the first time for scholars in HKBU namely Jingjing Huang (Suri), Shengpeng Li (Sam), Aining Zhou (Eileen), Haoqi Wu (Amy), Xiuqi Zhou (Cathy) and Shunru Wen (Michael) from mainland China, Ho Thanh Thuy from Vietnam, Chandu Gopalakrishnan and Bushra Baseerat from India and me to be all together.

Hinrich scholar - Team-building

We also met the scholars from Bangladesh, Mosaddek Allama, Ramzan Miah and Hassan Dipti. And, finally, we met Khiem Vu from Vietnam. He is studying in CHKU, along with Ben Wong, who did not make it.

Aki Han and Jane Lu, who have been with the Global Sources for at least 10 years, shared their feelings and realizations on going back to school after a period of being employed. They are both taking up master’s degree in China business study at HKPU.

For all of us, it was not only a moment for camaraderie, but also for sharing a commitment to be a part of a global campaign. As Jane put it, “It was you guys who give me energy to face my new life with passion!”

Dipti said, “Actually, you people changed our life. Change is exciting, essential and beneficial. Without change, we would not have the standard of living that we enjoy today. We would have a boring existence.” She said she felt very proud for being a part of HF and VF that are “promoting sustainable global trade because global trade has increased the flow of goods, services, money, people, knowledge and jobs across geographic and political boundaries.”

New journey in Hong Kong

“Suddenly, I also felt very excited about starting my new journey in Hong Kong, experiencing new lifestyle, meeting new people, trying to get used to new learning atmosphere. I believe that I will get a lot from this journey. It is a valuable opportunity in my life to try new things, discover myself and take new challenges,” Amy said.

Michael said he realized that people with different background and countries could gather and share something unique about themselves. “I am always excited when I am able to meet so many different people with different stories,” he added.

Ramzan said he had a dream to have such a gathering with scholars that was eventually materialized. He said Alex’s speech at that night was “mind blowing”, adding that it “definitely will help me to show the best practice to be more professional.”

For his part, Mosaddek said when he left Bangladesh, he feared the uncertainty of his future. “As it is my first journey abroad, I felt anxious. But when I got the privilege of meeting with distinguished guests like Avron, Maria and Ashley, and my fellow scholars from different countries, it brought a feeling of relief to me.”

He noted, “It is beyond my imagination to think how great organizations take fruitful steps towards their surroundings. It is really an awesome experience.”

Chandu said, “With a team like this and a mentor like Alex, I feel confident and optimistic.”

Aki Han said she was so glad to study and work with all the scholars in this “tremendous” year, adding, “Let’s fight together for our big family—Hinrich Foundation!”

There you have it. That evening will surely spark meaningful changes in the future as our dreams became goals, and we create goals that are bigger than what we have achieved.

About the Author – Lorie Cascaro

Lorie Cascaro

Lorie Ann Cascaro was awarded the Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholarship in August 2014 to pursue M.A. in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. She graduated from the University of Mindanao in Philippines with a bachelor of Arts In English. She would like to become an international journalist and help Hinrich Foundation in its activities after graduation.