The heroic efforts shown by 14-year-old Ma Jian in Yingxiu Village following the Sichuan Province earthquake of May 2008 touched the hearts of university officials and moved them to award the hero a full scholarship to the university.
Ma Jian spent five hours in pouring rain to dig out his classmate, Xiang Xiaolian with bare hands. He then helped two others who were trapped, offering drinking water in the dim glow of a small lighter.
“We were just so impressed with this determined young man who risked his personal safety to rescue others. It would make us very proud to have him at our university,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese.
From left: Jimmy Zhao, CEO, Sino-American Ventures; Ma Jian; and John Thomas at the Chuan Yian Hotel in Chengdu in November, 2011