I have written in the past about ways to start scholarship programs and ways for students to find them. However, what I have only briefly touched upon is the understanding of why donors start scholarship programs in the first place. Many donors are thankful and want to give back and help others as they are reminded of how fortunate they are. Others give to honor their parents and loved ones for giving them the tools to succeed in life.
Each donor has a unique story about why they give and what motivates them. The story of Shui Kuen and Allen Chin’s devotion to education and family are typical in many immigrant families. However, the way the family chose to overcome a family tragedy inspires and honors the practice of philanthropy.
Shui Kuen and Allen Chin owned and operated Chung’s, a well-known Chinese restaurant in the greater Detroit area. The restaurant allowed six children to successful complete post-secondary education and pursue a diverse range of career paths. On October 11, 2005, Allen Chin lost his life on his way to the restaurant. Shui Kuen Chin survived the car accident and provided encouragement to her children as they sought to turn the family tragedy into something positive. The result is the Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Foundation.
Through family and friends, the Foundation has raised funds to support a scholarship program for restaurant workers and children of restaurant workers. Two $1,000 scholarships are available. Eligibility criteria are:
- Self or parent currently or formerly employed at an Asian-owned or Asian cuisine restaurant
- Community advocacy and social justice work on behalf of Asian American, immigrant, gay and lesbian and other progressive causes
- Grade level: Incoming freshman or current, full-time undergraduate in 2011-12
- Minimum GPA: 3.0
- Status: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence
- Completed application; Application Deadline: March 17, 2011