When the U.S. Department of Justice announced that 50 people had been indicted in mid-March in a pay-for-admissions scandal, they revealed that one family had paid $6.5 million to a fixer to gain their daughter admission to a prestigious U.S. university.
But their name wasn't revealed until last week, when the Los Angeles Times named Yusi Zhao as the daughter of a Chinese-Singaporean family that paid Rick Singer of California that fee to ensure her acceptance to the prestigious West Coast Stanford University.
A week later, a social media video was discovered showing Yusi Zhao giving her advice about getting into top-flight schools and sharing her experience with other Chinese students on how to achieve that goal.
See our YouTube video here for a deep dive into the admissions scandal.
“In this live video, I want to tell you that Stanford is not unreachable," she says confidently. "As long as you have a firm goal and work towards it, you will get there.”
Zhao’s father, Tao Zhao, is the chairman of Buchang Pharma. He holds a Singaporean citizenship.
“From my own experience … how should I put it?" Yusi wonders. "Well, regardless of your innate ability, as long as you work hard, everyone can achieve their dreams. Dream is not just a dream. As long as you push forward slowly, one step at a time, you will get there.”
News reports say Yusi has been expelled from Stanford, and it remains unclear if she or her family is criminally liable as other families involved in the scam.
VOA's Mandarin Service contributed to this report.
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