In May of 2008, there was a devastating earthquake in Sichuan province, China that caused much sadness for the people of that area. Two months later, FBLA chapter president Donald Qiao of St. Croix Lutheran High School, MN represented the Future Business Leaders of America by giving a speech in China to the surviving children. Qiao made 600 yellow t-shirts with FBLA logos for the children attending “tent schools” as a symbol of renewed hope. Donald picked the color yellow because it stands for a flower bud and the FBLA logo because it stands for the promise of a great future, especially for the children who were suffered from this catastrophe.
Since Donald’s father is an owner of a Landscape Company in Beijing, he was also given a bag of grass and flower seeds. Donald planted sixty pounds of grass and flower seed with his new friends at four different local schools to help rebuild their life and dreams.
Donald experienced three major aftershocks during his FBLA volunteer service time. For the last night in his earthquake volunteer experience, Donald experienced a 6.5 magnitude aftershock which caused the banks of the river to collapse. Donald’s tent was flooded around midnight. When Donald woke up, his laptop and bags were already part of the flood. Donald was really upset after this experience. He drew a parallel: what if his bags and laptop were one of the sixty nine thousand victims? He then realized that the people after that catastrophe need more aid than they have been given.
As business leaders, we can choose to take responsibility and be assertive in our leadership to help people that have suffered the tragedy of any natural disaster. Donald Qiao’s dream is to one day get into Harvard University, and then create the biggest company in the world so he can raise enough money to help more people who suffer from natural disasters like the one in Sichuan.