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Mother's death in a children's home Candidate's success in the exams says his mindset will win the battle (RTHK)

23/07/2020

2020-07-23 HKT 14:08

Zhang Jintao (left), 18, was admitted to a children's home at the age of nine after his mother contracted cancer. (Photo by John Lee)

 

A diploma candidate who grew up in a children's home has scored 5** in one subject and 5* in two subjects, and will be applying for a place in the Department of Physical Education at the University of Hong Kong (HKBU).

 

Cheung, 18, comes from a single-parent family and was admitted to a children's home at the age of nine after his mother died of cancer. He said his mother's last wish was for him to go to university and he was happy to fulfil her wish. When he was preparing for the Diploma of Arts Examination, the library study room was closed due to the epidemic, so the social worker had to arrange for him to study in a quieter place in another small group home. Cheung also used his years of savings to pay for tutorials for the Diploma Examination, and was recommended by his school principal to study subjects such as English at a lower cost. Asked what advice he would give to others in similar circumstances, he said that he should not be restricted by his environment, and that his mindset is the key to success.

 

As he has reached the age of 18, Cheung will have to leave the small group home and will no longer be able to receive the monthly CSSA payment of about $1,800 for children. He says he will continue to work part-time at a fast-food restaurant and as a tutor to earn a living, and plans to move into a shared space. Cheung, who loves handball and long-distance running, believes that long-distance running has given him the spirit of a marathon, where he does not stop during the process, and when he wants to stop after a hard day's practice, he imagines that someone is catching up with him and then continues to work hard, which has taught him to be persistent.

 

Lam Hon Ping, a social worker who has been helping him since he was a child, said that apart from being self-disciplined in life, Cheung is also very co-operative with other people, which makes many people around him want to help him.