Young women were honored for their achievements at an event held by the Garden of Hope Foundation in Taipei yesterday.
Eleven recipients were selected from 29 female high school students nominated for the fifth annual Daughters of Formosa Awards. The awards are given in five categories: science and technology, adventure, public service, sports and creativity.
"Women in Taiwan are not encouraged to pursue achievements in these five categories. However, [the categories] represent the five core values -- vitality, confidence, courage, responsibility and knowledge -- of women in Taiwan," foundation chief executive director Chi Hui-jung (
The awards serve to encourage girls to achieve in these areas, she said.
Liu Kuo-lin (
Aged 13, she has already conquered Yushan (
"I like to challenge myself," Liu said. "Cycling around the island and climbing Yushan are not easy, as both consume a lot of energy. But I made it. When I felt like giving up, I'd tell myself that nothing is impossible."
Liu said her trips had given her more than just a sense of accomplishment.
"Taiwan is truly a beautiful island. When you appreciate this, you realize that we should stop damaging the environment," she said.
Lin Ling-an (林玲安), a student who will begin her final year of high school next month, donates part of her monthly allowance to charities that help disadvantaged children.
"Instead of spending my money on unnecessary luxuries, I'd rather help disadvantaged children," Lin said, adding that she was inspired to take action after many of her mother's students were turned away from childcare centers.
Her mother is a special education teacher.
"I plan to study social work at university. After that, I'd like to create a childcare center for disadvantaged children," Lin said.
Li Yu-ying (
"Korfball is the only sport in which men and women play together in a team," Li said. "That's why I like it -- it shows how the two genders can work together to achieve something."
Li has twice represented Taiwan in high-school level international korfball competitions. Her teams finished third and fifth.