Hardworking student sells watermelon for tuition fee but declines donations


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All he ever wanted was to finish college and become a police officer but because his adoptive family is poor, an 18-year-old Chinese student surnamed Li had to find ways to support himself and earn enough money to pay for his tuition fees.

Li recently went viral for his ambitious plan to sell 35,000-kg worth of watermelons to earn 14,000 yuan ($2,000) for his tuition fees. But aside from the big plan of selling the watermelons, he earned admiration for declining donations from netizens! Instead, he insists that if they wanted to help, they can buy his watermelons.

Abandoned by his birth mother as a baby, Li was adopted by a loving family but they were poor and could not afford to send him to school. So, Li made sure he wouldn’t be a burden to his adoptive parents by finding ways to earn money to support himself.

When he was accepted at the Zhejiang Police College with high marks, Li is a step closer to reaching his dreams but 14,000 yuan ($2,000) is a big amount. So, he decided to sell watermelons.

Hardworking student sells watermelon for tuition fee but declines donations
Photo credit: Shanghaiist

He earned at least 100 yuan ($15) per day yet that was far too low since he only had 2 months to come up with the amount for his tuition fees.

Then, fate played a cruel joke on Li. He met an accident while driving his motorcycle. Out of fatigue, the young man fainted and his motorcycle was totalled.

At the hospital, he had to spend 1,000 yuan ($150) on his medical bills, a huge blow for the young student who had just spent days trying his best to earn that money.

Thankfully, a nurse who learned of his situation shared his story on social media. Admiring his determination, plenty of people came forward to offer donations. He could definitely use a lot of help – and donations are something a lot of students would certainly dream of!

Yet for Li, accepting donations is not an option; he wants to be able to hold his head up high and achieve his dreams through his own hard work.

Hardworking student sells watermelon for tuition fee but declines donations
Photo credit: Shine CN

“If I take their money, I would never be able to hold my head up high. I have to work hard to achieve what I want in life. You can’t just buy that with money,” the young student explained.

So, instead of accepting these donations, he sold watermelons to these donors. In just a few days he was able to save 8,000 yuan ($1,175). Soon, he would be able to pay his tuition fees.

His story has greatly impressed a lot of netizens who hoped that other young minds will be inspired by Li and work hard to achieve their dreams, with or without donations from other people!

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express


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