Growing up in New England, my memories of Patriots Day and the Boston Marathon go back years before I even chose to attend Boston University, but none of those memories are more vivid than the ones from April 15, 2013. I was a sophomore and enjoying the energy of the day with my parents who decided to drive into the city from my hometown in New Hampshire. We had just left Fenway Park after a Red Sox victory when I saw police officers and first responders sprinting alongside marathon runners who were just a couple miles from the finish line. When I saw the initial reports of what had happened I went numb. I didn't believe what I was reading. The feeling didn't go away in the following days and weeks as I heard stories of both horror and heroism. When I first heard Lu Lingzi, a fellow terrier, was one of the lives lost, my heart broke for her family and friends. She had the courage to leave her family and move to the other side of the world to pursue her dreams. She took a break from her diligent schedule to enjoy one of Boston's biggest celebrations, and in an inexplicable act of violence, her promising life ended.
The Lingzi Foundation honors the example set by Lingzi Lu, who spread love and compassion while fearlessly following her dreams, by providing educational opportunities for courageous and ambitious students like her, and supporting organizations that reflect her passions and recognize those making a positive impact in building bridges between cultures and communities.