Shunyi Wendy Du - Gold Award
School: Sunset High School
Category: Teens (11-15)
Wendy is a sophomore at Sunset High School and co-founder of Beats of Bethany. Beats of Bethany is a non-profit organization that empowers youth to serve the community through varying art forms. In the beginning, the purpose of Beats of Bethany was to deliver musical performances at senior homes. This idea stems from the elderly in Wendy’s own family. Every summer, Wendy and her family would travel back to her homeland and visit her great grandparents. Her great grandfather has Alzheimer’s disease, and the music was able to bring out more life in him. Although she cannot visit him often, Wendy wanted to provide for the elderly in her community, thus co-founding Beats of Bethany. At first, Beats of Bethany only performed music pieces at senior homes during the holiday season. Since then, they have expanded their projects to teach low-income youth (partnering with St. Johns Racquet Center), donating thousands of handmade fabric masks to protect our community (partnering with Love with Masks), and increasing our performance seasons, including virtual performances in quarantine. During the beginning of quarantine, Wendy also wanted to help her community through this challenging time while maintaining safety measures. She was inspired to support Youth Link after hearing about this community organization through some friends. Wendy and her friend decided to create and teach a Japanese online class because quarantine caused students to lose many learning opportunities. Additionally, she was aware of the lack of PPE for hospital staff and looked for ways to help her local hospitals. The Japanese class is free for all students to attend, but several voluntary donations have been made on behalf of their course. These donations are used to provide the necessary equipment our frontline fighters need. These valuable experiences taught Wendy a lot about communication, growth, and organization.
Oregon Chinese Coalition is proud to join the President of the United States in recognizing the volunteers who consistently take the time to make a difference in the lives of others. Therefore, it is a great honor to present the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) to Wendy Du.