She is an ordinary teacher who spent decades in poverty-stricken areas, dedicated to changing the fate of girls living in mountainous regions. Her name is Zhang Guimei.
After seeing many girls drop out of school due to poverty, Zhang founded the first free school in China for girls – Huaping Girls’ High School in Lijiang, Yunnan. For more than a decade, she has been devoting all her energy to teaching. She has helped more than 1,800 girls from poor families to fulfill their college dreams. In 2019, over 80% of the school’s graduates were enrolled by university for undergraduate studies, ranking first among all 14 high schools in the city.
Zhang Guimei lost her husband in middle age and has no children, but she never felt lonely. “I am a village teacher, I use my knowledge to change the fate of children, by sending them out of the mountains. It is my original intention and mission as a people’s teacher and a Communist Party member. I will stand on the podium, give my best and dedicate all to the students, till the last breath of my life”, Zhang said.