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National Honoree

Photo of National Honoree Yijia  Tian

Yijia Tian

China

Yijia Tian, 16, of Shandong, a junior at Tai Shan High School of Shandong Province, has drawn from her own experience with albinism to start the “Xiaohe Charity Moon Home Albinism Care Project,” an initiative that provides scholarships, networking activities, programming and protective items to support others with the condition. Having faced the challenges that can come with albinism -- including fear of sun exposure and discrimination – Yijia worked hard to build her confidence and self-esteem, with help from her family, teachers and classmates. After meeting others with albinism through a reading program, she was inspired to help others gain confidence, too. In the six years since she started her care project, more than 800 people across the country have benefited from its services. Yijia also supports her cause through public speaking, promoting acceptance and raising awareness of the experiences of people with albinism.