Walk the ‘Thunderbird Spirit’


By Gloria Liu

‘We educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide.’

I am pretty sure that all T-birds are familiar with the above sentence. It is Thunderbird’s mission statement, and we were all required to write an essay about how our mission statement aligns with that of Thunderbird when applying to this school. So, do you know exactly what does it mean? Well, Shawn Quan, a MS Global Marketing 15’, showed the spirit of Thunderbird by participating in a philanthropic event called ‘Make a Wish’.

Make-A-Wishis a non-profit organization that grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories. Originated from Arizona in the 1980s, today Make-A-Wish has spread all over the country and has endowed thousands of children with a life-changing opportunity for their wishes. For example, one fading ten-year-old boy wanted to be a PD police officer, so local police department granted this wish by tailoring a uniform for him and arranging special tasks for him.

Two weeks ago, another Make-A-Wish charitable event, a 3k-walk marathon was held in downtown Phoenix, and Shawn, together with other two T-birds, joined the activity. Prior to the start of the event, Shawn started a fund-raising on Facebook. Initially she was targeting only $15, worrying that an international student like her may not get enough attention. But just a couple hours after she posted the fund-raising online, she already had accomplished the target. An MBA Thunderbird student encouraged Shawn to dream big because all T-birds will be there to help. So Shawn raised her target to $300. By the time she started the 3k-walk marathon, Shawn was very near her goal.

While walking to raise public awareness, Shawn said “that what most inspired her was the encouragement from the smile and hand-waving from children who are tortured by illness and yet remained positive and graceful towards life.” She remembered that when she was walking by a boy in a wheelchair, the boy muttered ‘thank you’ to her. “It was in fact all I want from this fundraising. You actually feel your own soul lifted up when you are working to lift other souls.” Shawn commented.

Now back in school, Shawn is ever more motivated for a career in a NGO. For her, granting a kid’s wish is just so rewarding.




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