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Junior works to help the children of Tibet

Anna Yeo has always known she wanted to “look around the world” and help others.

The 21-year-old junior’s latest vision involves improving the Tibetan education system by raising money for books, as well as food and clothing for children. Yeo has even formed an organization, Global Education Investment, for the cause. The group’s acronym, GEI, means “to give” in Chinese. A fundraiser this semester at Bon-Ton at the Oakdale Mall raised $407 for Tibetan children.

“That’s not much, but we’re very proud of it because it was our first-ever project,” said Yeo, a political science major from Brooklyn. “With that money, we can support two children for a year of education.”

But Yeo is not content simply to raise money. She plans to travel to Tibet next summer to meet the people she aims to help.

“Without education, I felt like there was nothing I could do to be successful,” said Yeo, who moved from Korea to the United States at age 17 so she could get a higher quality of schooling. “I felt this is how it is for a lot of people in the world, especially Tibetan children. I can’t wait to see them.”

Yeo’s desire to interact with others and make a difference has led her to Costa Rica, where she helped build a library in a small village in January, and China, where she learned about the Tibetan project while interning over the summer. Yeo, who hopes to go to law school, also has worked for the Broome County Public Defender’s Office and has been active in campus groups such as the University Judicial Board and Model U.N.

“When I first met Anna, I was blown away by her accomplishments,” said Milton Chester, director of the Office of Judicial Affairs. “She’s an outstanding student and judicial board member.”

Still, Yeo believes she can do more at Binghamton.

“College is short, but you can do a lot about it,” she said. “I regret that I couldn’t do more in my freshman year, but I understand it because I didn’t know what to do and how to do it at the time. After my experiences in Costa Rica, China and other activities, I know more about organizing things. … I definitely feel like I’m headed where I want to be.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08