Project Pengyou (“pengyou” which means “friend” in Mandarin) is a nonprofit program that motivates American students and pre-professionals to build positive relations between China and America through leadership summits, the promotion of studying abroad, and student-organized events across the country.
Saint Ann’s student Natalie N. says, “Last spring, I attended the inaugural Project Pengyou summit at Harvard University where I acquired leadership skills modeled after the Marshall Ganz grassroots technique. This fall, fellow seniors Anya D. and Alex E. participated in a similar summit, and returned to Saint Ann’s motivated to develop a Saint Ann’s chapter of Project Pengyou.” Together with a group of about ten students, they meet regularly to discuss Sino-American relations and plan events focused around Chinese culture. On Thursday, December 11, they organized and participated in “Dumpling Day.” The event included over 100 participants working together to make 1,000 meat and vegetarian dumplings. They hope this was the first of many events to celebrate student interest in studying Mandarin, and eventually traveling abroad to China. Going forward they intend to host a multicultural event in the spring, and a China-themed art exhibit in the lobby. They also may assist the regional Project Pengyou cohort in planning a New York City wide event.