Private institutions show their love for Ewha through scholarshipsWhile various school-sponsored scholarships within Ewha are well-known among students, there are others that are not quite so well publicized.
Many are funded by private facilities that have been with Ewha for a long time. These facilities include Café Para, Areumtteul, and Dr. Robbin. These three institutions sponsor scholarships through the Office of University Relations and Development (OURD), which allocates the collected money to students in need.
“Café Para’s first day at Ewha began on March 26, 2002,” said RyouNeun-Wei, the president of Café Para, without a moment’s hesitation.
Situated in the basement floor of the Ewha-POSCO Building, Café Para began to provide financial sponsorships in 2003. That was when the Ministry of Environment issued a call ordering companies to charge an extra 50 won for paper cups, to be given back to the consumers when they return their cups.
In the beginning, mainly the janitors claimed with the recycling fee because it was they who picked up the paper cups throughout the day. However, when the value of all the collected paper cups amounted to nearly four million won per year, Ryou decided to donate the money to the school.
After adding an extra six million won from his own deposit, Ryou proudly delivered ten million won to Ewha the first year. Since then, he has been donating nearly 20 million won each year.
“I feel it is my duty to return as much as possible to the students, with whom I am mainly conducting business,” Ryou said. “I will continue to sponsor scholarships as long as I remain at Ewha in an effort to give as muchas I can.”
Areumtteul is a casual mini-restaurant located on the ground level of Helen Hall and has been in business at Ewha since 1998. Hong Myung-sook, the president of Areumtteul,says that she started donating money simply because she feels attached to Ewha.
“Having not only grown up but also gone to middle and high school near Ewha, I feel lucky to run a business inside the school and I want to give back as much as I can to the students,” Hong said.
While Hong’s donations are less regular in amount compared to that of Ryou, they are put to more diverse uses, such as offerings to the school church, financial support for the building of the Hanwoori Hall, and scholarships.
Hong’s affection for Ewha is evident in her devotion to Areumtteul. Aside from wrapping Areumtteul’s products herself and actually making the sitting cushions on the chairs outside, she seeks out the best chefs for each kind of food in the nation to reflect their skills in the menus.
The future she holds for Areumtteul is just as revealing; to become the pride of Ewha and a source of envy for students at other schools.
In contrast to the above two scholarships, the one launched by Dr. Robbin is relatively new, having completed just one round of donations and now preparing for the second surge, coming up in the second semester.
“Dr. Robbin has given sponsorships for freshmen once or twice in the past, but this is the first time it is giving money regularly,” said Kim Eun-kyung, who is in charge of external affairs at Dr. Robbin.
When asked what made Dr. Robbin to decide to sponsor a scholarship, Kim, like the other two presidents, replied that “it was a way of showing our gratitude to the students.”
According to the Office of Student Affairs, 12 students have received a total of 25 million won during the first semester. As for the second semester, Dr. Robbin is planning to reach more students with another 25 million won. However, Kim is not completely sure whether this scholarship will continue next year.
The three institutions differ in the years they have been at Ewha and the period for which they have been giving financial support to students. In the end, however, they all share a fondness for Ewha and its students.
“I don’t decorate the interior with flowers, because the students themselves seem like flowers to me. My mind reaches out to the students as though they were all my own daughters,” Hong, the president of Areumtteul said.
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