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XinXian Wang–Davis Projects for Peace

Name: Xinxian Wang

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Shenyang, China

Major(s): Mathematics, Economics

Minors or Concentrations: Computer Science

Opportunity and Year: Davis Projects for Peace, Summer 2019

Project Summary: Since 2002, the Ministry of Education of China has made a series of efforts known as Shanshi Jihua (“Eat with A Plan” in Chinese) to advocate healthy eating among elementary school students. As part of the Shanshi Jihua, elementary schools provide on-campus dining service with sanitary facilities and nutritious meal plans. Most of the urban elementary schools also require the completion of physical health course as part of the graduation requirement. Located in Feng City, Liaoning, Simenzi County Elementary School is the first elementary school in Feng City that was able to bring Shanshi Jihua to its rural campus. Each year, Simenzi County Elementary School is able to help an average of over 200 undernourished children in the whole county.

For this Davis Peace project, I will be working directly with Simenzi County Elementary School. The project will contain two phases with the first aiming to improve Simenzi County Elementary School’s current implementation of Shanshi Jihua and the second to provide human capital for the future fulfillment of Shanshi Jihua in other elementary schools in Simenzi County through a summer camp training volunteers from local organizations of nutritious knowledge.

Upon the completion of this project, Simenzi County Elementary School will be able to build a long-term partnership with X-Initiative volunteer service center. X-Initiative will offer future volunteer supply and make sure students have affordable milk beyond one summer through fund-raising events. What’s more, the fund will be used to install dish sterilizers and public sinks which will benefit the whole local community by containing the spread of infectious disease. Moreover, the Summer Camp is an investment of human capital. This Summer, the first 20 volunteers will be able to help students at Simenzi County Elementary School. The knowledge and experience these volunteers earn this summer will enable them to engage more people to help more schools in Feng City.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? I benefit a lot from working on pro bono consulting projects for the local community while I am in Washington and Lee Student Consulting. These past experiences enable me to identify the social issue in my home country and develop a project to solve it. The speaking tradition at W&L also prepares me for communicating with people working in a wide range of fields and convincing them to join the project.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? As an economics major at Washington and Lee University, I develop an interest in Food Economics after taking the Poverty and Food Insecurity class with Professor Scharadin. This project will give me the chance to apply what I have learned in class to fight food insecurity in China. I am also part of Washington and Lee Student Consulting and I love solving problems for business and local communities. Davis Projects for Peace will enable me to solve the malnutrition problem among children in my hometown this summer.

Post-graduation Plans: I am thinking of going to graduate school in Economics. After graduation, I will pursue a career in either consulting or Public policy.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? I want to focus my graduate study on the economy in developing countries. This experience will offer me more insights into the possible strategies for enhancing social welfare in developing countries. What’s more, I expect to face obstacles while implementing my project. These obstacles will better prepare me for future policymaking if I pursue a career in the government.

Extracurricular Involvement:

Washington and Lee Student Consulting
Campus Ambassador
Career Fellow
Phonathon Caller
Course Assistant
Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange
Science, Society and the Arts

Off-campus Experience:

Ignite with STEM Diversity & Inclusion Forum (Bank of America)
Undergrads Women Summit (McKinsey & Company)
Virginia Operator Theory and Complex Analysis Meeting (University of Richmond)
International Student Leadership Conference (James Madison University)
Northeast Asia Environmental Forum (China Environmental Protection Foundation)

Internships:
Data Analyst (Visual Arts Center of Richmond)
Media Planner (The Martin Agency)

Study Abroad:
University of Oxford (2019-2020)

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