High schooler becomes 4th in family to win presidential award

Lin Yu-hsien

TAIPEI (CNA) — High school student Lin Yu-hsien (林佑弦) was named Wednesday as one of the recipients of the 2020 President’s Education Awards, becoming the fourth sibling in his family to gain that honor.

Lin, 17, who attends Yung Ching Senior High School in the southern county of Chiayi, is one of 56 students who will receive the presidential award this year in recognition of their achievement of excellence under difficult circumstances.

He is from a family of seven orphaned children who were raised by their grandmother and uncle, and he has followed in the footsteps of his two older sisters and brother, all former recipients of the President’s Education Awards.

When Lin was in junior high school, he began wrestling training. In 2019, he represented Taiwan in the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships, and he has continued to excel in the sport.

According to his high school principal, he gives his family all of the prize money he wins in wrestling competitions and everything he makes from his part-time job at a recycling plant.

“Lin has always put his family first,” said the principal, Su Yuan-yuan (蘇淵源).

Su said that when the Parents’ Association at the high school offered Lin a prize in recognition of his accomplishments, he asked for a notebook computer for his younger sister, who needed it for her school assignments.

Having been selected twice to the national wresting team, Lin is guaranteed a place at National Taiwan University of Sport, but he has decided to enroll in a military academy to better support his family.

“My dream has come true, and I’m extremely happy,” Lin told CNA, when asked about the presidential award.

He said his older brother Lin Hsuan-pin (林玄斌), a recipient of the 2019 President’s Education Awards and also a wrestler, is his role model. This is the third consecutive year that one of the Lin siblings has been named for the President’s Education Awards.

In 2018, one of the winners was the eldest sister Lin Pei-chen (林佩貞), who was born blind and is an accomplished clarinet player and licensed street performer.

In the family, the pace was set by Lin Tzu-chi (林姿綺), the second child, who received the award in the 2014, shortly after she won a bronze medal in the national wrestling championships.

This year, the 56 awardees range from a nine-year-old girl to a 45-year-old PhD student.

At a ceremony at the Presidential Office on July 17, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will present them each with a certificate and trophy.

The award also includes a scholarship valued at NT$250,000 (US$8,292) for university students, NT$200,000 for junior and senior high school students, and NT$150,000 for elementary school students.