Cindy Zheng, a 2019 graduate of Sussex Central High School, received a scholarship from the Donald W. & Nancy S. Edwards Charitable Fund. Zheng was the co-president of Students in Action, was involved in Math League and Health Occupations Students of America, and volunteered for Beebe Hospital, but she also balanced her school activities with obligations most of her fellow students don’t share. Zheng is the only one in her family fluent in English – her parents and grandfather speak Chinese. At a young age, Zheng began translating for her parents in their restaurant and in day-to-day activities such as visiting the bank. When her grandfather in New York was in the hospital for an extended time, Cindy would travel to visit him and translate for him with the doctors and staff. Between traveling and translating, Zheng often missed school. Though she worked diligently to make up for her absence, balancing familial obligations and school affected her grades and she was almost unable to complete her junior year of high school. She rebounded during her senior year and was able to graduate with her class in the spring of 2019.
The Donald W. & Nancy S. Edwards Charitable Fund scholarship is awarded each year to a high school student recommended through the Upward Bound program at the University of Delaware or Delaware Technical Community College. It provides up to $5,000 per year the recipient is enrolled in college. The Edwardses, who do not have children of their own, wanted to provide young people with an opportunity to get an education they would not have had otherwise. They knew they could not do it independently, so they talked with their financial advisor, who connected them with the DCF. “We provide the funds, and the DCF does all the work,” said Nancy Edwards. “It’s been a very rewarding experience for us.” With the Edwardses’ generosity, Zheng is attending the University of Delaware and plans to major in biology and psychology.