THORNLIE student Peng Sheng's story about his life's biggest challenge won an award in a writing competition run by The Smith Family.
Each year the national charity, which helps young Australians in need, runs the competition for students enrolled in its Learning for Life program.
This year’s theme was My Biggest Challenge and Peng wrote about a time when he was still in China.
His mother had to leave him with his grandmother for three years while she studied in another city.
He wrote that the separation demanded ‘almighty strength of mind’.
‘I was still a small child, I was devastated,’ he wrote.
‘I screamed and cried, but it was hopeless. I cried almost every night. My mother cried too.’
Peng’s story ended happily, with time passing quickly and his mother returning to take him away.
‘I was so surprised when I found out that we were migrating to Australia,’ he wrote.
‘I had faced the biggest challenge of my life.’
Since arriving in Australia Peng has embraced life at school, including music and sports classes, and is in an academic extension class.
He loves science, especially chemistry, and is now reading university-level books on the subject.
Peng has won a scholarship to attend Perth Modern School next year.