When Cui Fang Tang was only 15 years old, she came to America alone with hopes of a better future, because her family in China was very poor and could not afford to take care of her. She flew into California, where an agency referred her to Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS), and sent her to Philadelphia. “I had no clue what was going on,” she said. “I felt lost; I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

LCFS placed Cui with a foster family, and she began attending high school, where she did very well. “I loved going to school. I liked everything about it,” she said. She also volunteered at the church that she attended with her foster parents, and overall, led the life of an average 15 year old. “I did not even dare to dream that such a wonderful for thing would happen to me,” she said.

Cui obtained permanent residency, and attended Penn State University where she studied math and education, joined numerous clubs and organizations, and worked part time. “It was something that I never thought I would be able to do,” she said.

Cui now teaches math to 7th and 8th grade students in the Philadelphia School District, and enjoys making a difference in the lives of the children, just as others made a difference in her life. “It’s making a difference every day,” she said. “I get to see how the kids are improving every day.”

“I am grateful everyday for everything I have achieved and everything I have,” Cui said. “Without the help and support of the United States Government, LCFS, my foster parents, and many others I would not be where I am today.”


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