February 13, 2014
By Metra Nichols
The Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation, in partnership with the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, has established a new initiative program in effort to expand upon and further promote one of its guiding principles: to build long-term, positive relationships between the USA and China. The “Hefner Initiative – Beijing High School No. 4” Award, sponsors students from the Beijing High School No. 4 in Beijing, China, to travel to and attend classes, as well as participate in extracurricular activities, at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The opportunity this year was awarded to those students of Beijing High School No. 4 who have hosted the Foundation’s Hefner Awardees from America the previous summer in Beijing, as sponsored under our Hefner Initiative summer programs. This year the Beijing High School students enjoyed a variety of activities during the approximate three-week program this past month. The students from Beijing engaged in the American classroom experience as well as toured a traditional American high school at Norman High in Norman, Oklahoma. The four students also learned about the history and the heritage of the state by visiting the Oklahoma Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma History Center. One of the many highlights from the program, was the students’ opportunity to sit-in on some exciting film editing classes at the Oklahoma City Community College where they met one of OCCC’s professors of Film Studies and Academy Award Winning Producer, Gray Frederickson. In addition, the students reunited with their American friends from OSSM, whom they hosted last summer in Beijing, China. This program attributes to the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation’s mission to foster and build relationships of cultural understanding between the United States and China.