Ke Xianpeng, 18, attends Phoenix Township High School in Zha Shui County. His favorite subject is chemistry and, if given a choice, he would like to study at Xi'an University of Technology.
Ke Xianpeng with his parents in front of his academic awards.
Ke's mother and father plant wheat and some medicinal herbs on 2 mu of land (about 1/3 an acre) and when work is available his father works in a local mine. Ke's two older brothers and his sister all out migrate to work. His sister lives and works in Fujian Province, while one of his brothers works for about $115/month in Tianjin. As his family was unable to pay Ke's high school tuition and other costs, his other brother chose to quit his own schooling to start working at the mine in order to support Ke's goal of gaining entrance to a university.
Ke wakes at 6am and finishes the day studying around 10:30pm each night. While he would love to go to Xi'an University of Technology, Ke does not concern himself that much over which university he will attend or how he will finance his college education right now. He says, "I just think about getting the best (university entrance exam) score I can." Ke hopes for good luck this academic year and in financing his education.