Posted April 18, 2012
Growing up in the populated city of Chicago, Zhenghao “Ricky” Cui '12 (Economics) never really felt a sense of community in his hometown. Arriving to Maine therefore, was a bit of a culture shock for him – especially when his introduction was through his Pre-Orientation trip where he traveled to a small town in Aroostock County with a population of no more than a thousand. It was here that he gained that sense of community as he observed and engaged in various town projects, from restoring old school houses to informing local high school students of the value of education. This life-changing experience broadened his perspective on community engagement and paved the way for the service work he has done at Bowdoin.
Since then, he has been involved in numerous service oriented groups and activities, including volunteering at Midcoast Hospital and Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, participating in Common Good Day, and serving on the Common Good Grant Committee his junior year where he helped allocate $16,000 to support projects in local non-profit organizations. He also has traveled to Ecuador to work on a project with Habitat for Humanity. But Ricky found a unique passion his junior in serving as the coordinator for the Mt. Ararat Middle School Bike Club. Through this program, he and other students team up with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine to teach middle school students safe and effective bicycling techniques, and to promote bicycling for fun and good health.
Ricky knows that service has not only been a defining role in his four years at Bowdoin but that it will continue to be an important part of his life after graduation in May. After receiving his medical degree, Ricky hopes to volunteer with Doctors Without Borders to continue to help others around the world.
“Community service has been a major contributor to my education at Bowdoin. Through this work I have gained an understand of the importance of service and the difference each individual can make in his or her community.”