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Teens cycle around island to fulfill dreams

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Twelve underprivileged students from Chiayi City's Bei-Yuan Junior High School (北園國中) accomplished their dreams by cycling around Taiwan this summer.

The 12 students were presented with gifts during a meeting yesterday with Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠).

Each student was given three kinds of gifts by Huang, which, according to the mayor, is meant to encourage them to be better people.

“The three gifts are a thermo bottle, a ruler and a color pen. The thermo bottle is meant to remind students to stay passionate about his or her dream; the ruler symbolizes uprightness and integrity, while the color pen tells the students to live a colorful life,” Huang said.

According to the Chiayi City Government, the 12 students who just graduated from the school partook in the cycling project under the assistance of the Chiayi City Government and Lin Ye Sheng Social Welfare Foundation (林業生社會福利慈善事業基金會).

All of them are from underprivileged families and they have already passed entrance exams to be accepted by different senior high schools.

The event kicked off July 14 at Chiayi City Hall. Participants toured Taiwan counter-clockwise over 10 days. They were briefly trapped in Lukang in central Changhua County due to Typhoon Matmo on July 23, and returned to Chiayi on tour buses on the same day's noon.

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