The Crossroads of Hope (COH) was started by a group of young Memphis high schools' students who desired to promote education and make a difference to children in a remote part of the world by giving them the hope that comes from education. These students came from different backgrounds and different schools but were the same in their devotion to "saving the world, one child at a time".

In its first year, 2006, the project was called the Yunnan Project and concentrated its efforts on the Yunnan Province, one of the poorest provinces in China. Following the success of that project, word spread, and the students were asked to help out in other provinces as well as other countries, thereby necessitating a more universal name, The Crossroads of Hope. In the first year the students raised, through their own efforts, over $13,000, exceeding their original goal of $10,000. This past year, 2007, they raised their goal to $15,000 and by a great deal of hard work here, and by chapters in other parts of the USA that have heard of the project and asked to join, raised nearly $18,000. All of the money raised both years was used to give scholarships to children in remote areas of China who would not otherwise be able to attend school, and to provide educational supplies and books for schools that had none. Many of the students themselves traveled to China, paying their own travel costs, traveling under grueling conditions, just to deliver the supplies and scholarships directly to the children. Without a doubt, the impact of seeing the conditions in which these children learn and study has made a huge impact on the Crossroads of Hope members.

The Crossroads of Hope Project is the first international education project of its kind wherein high schools' students themselves work to help other students in another country. It is the hope of all involved that the goal of students helping students across international borders, no matter where that might lead, will continue. We invite you to help them make that goal a reality!

In this year, 2008, the original project plans to aid the Northwest region of China, as well as previous areas that have received aid.

However, on May 12, 2008, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 struck the Sichuan Province , with nearly 34,073 people dead and 240,109 injured as of May 18, 2008. After COH contacted the China Children Publish and Print Group (CCPPG) to reach some surviving super intendments of the Education Boards of this area, we decided to help in the effort to rebuild the elementary and middle schools of earthquake area in Sichuan Province so that some orphans can overcome this disaster and return to a normal life as soon as possible. This year's trip will include several days dedicated to visiting this area and volunteering with the orphans. COH will allocate a portion of the money we collected to these earthquake stricken areas, schools, and orphans. In order to raise the money, COH will hold numerous fundraising events only for Sichuan earth quake relief until the delegation is scheduled to leave for China in mid July. If you would like to join the effort to help those who have been affected by the earthquake, please feel free to donate. Any amount will be greatly appreciated and cherished by the beneficiaries of your gift. Please make checks payable to the Chinese Academy of Memphis and for the Crossroads of Hope. The donation will be tax deductable. All checks should be mailed to:

Chinese Academy of Memphis (for Crossroads of Hope)
8740 Dewberry Lane
Cordova , TN 38016

Background of sponsoring organization

The Chinese Academy of Memphis (CAM), a not-for-profit 501(C)(3), is an independent educational organization formed in 2004 to provide an educational setting for education in the Chinese language and culture in the Mid-South area. CAM is led by an alliance of Chinese language professors, Chinese high-tech advisors, parents, and volunteers and has partnerships with Rhodes College, White Station High School and Cordova High School (Memphis City Schools), Houston High School (Shelby County Schools) and Margolin Hebrew Academy (private school).

CAM has two main areas of focus: 1) to offer an opportunity for individuals from a variety of backgrounds to learn the Chinese language and culture; 2). to provide a cross-cultural link with China by establishing various projects that will enhance interactions between China and the United States. Since its founding, the Chinese Academy of Memphis has greatly increased the opportunities for learning in the Mid-South. In the past year, CAM has established a Chinese Proficiency Testing center (CPT, also know as HSK), China's national standardized test designed to assess proficiency in people who are learning Chinese as a foreign language. CAM has also had various interactions with the community.

More recently, CAM has been involved with the Crossroads of Hope, a project funded by a CAM student and designed to raise funds for educational materials and scholarships for children in rural China. This has been a key focus area for CAM since the project's creation in November 2005. With support from Fournier Learning Strategies and Engineering World Health, Significant progress has been made, highlighted by the success of last year's efforts that benefited over 50,000 children, mainly in the southeast province of Yunnan. Over twenty students from seven schools in the greater Memphis area were involved in the fund-raising efforts, and in June, 2006 five student delegates of the Crossroads of Hope team with adult advisors from CAM and Fournier Learning Strategies, traveled to Yunnan Province, China at their own expense, to personally deliver scholarships and educational supplies to poor children there. While in China, the delegates met and talked to the president of China Youth League, the president and vice-president of China Children Press and Publisher Group, 2008 Olympic Committee, and the vice-president of Chinese People Consultative Beijing Committee (CPCBC). The leaders of Chinese Disabled Person's Federation for their concern. The delegates were interviewed and the news of the project was reported throughout China by China CCTV and Beijing TV. The team members have published a book Share (ISBN 7-5007-8394-9), a collection of their essays which share their feelings and observations during the fundraising and trip. All the proceeds from the sale of this book will help with the ongoing goals of the Crossroads of Hope fund. Going forward, CAM plans to continue efforts required to provide needed assistance in Yunnan but also to go into other poor provinces of China in order to work toward achieving universal education and to bridge the cultural gap between China and the United States.