Cindy Cicilia’s career as a student at Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo High School in Medan, the capital city of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, has been noteworthy. In 2012, she earned a place as a Second Champion in a competition calling on her knowledge of the Japanese language. She also garnered a prize for public speaking in Japanese, and won a research challenge for her work in utilizing watermelon seeds as a supplement to traditional chicken feed. Her achievements and passion for learning helped her earn a Tanoto Scholarship, funded by the Tanoto Foundation as part of its efforts to assist deserving students in some of Indonesia’s most under-resourced areas.
Cindy’s love of anime has served as a driving force behind her scholastic success. A fan of the many anime series produced in Japan, she found that she wanted to learn the language in order to understand her favorite shows better. Japanese became the focal point of her extracurricular plans in school, and she even took instruction in calligraphy through a program at Medan’s Japanese consulate.
Among her most treasured learning experiences is her meeting with Souun Takeda, one of Japan’s most revered contemporary calligraphy artists, who is known for blending traditional and innovative techniques. Cindy Cicilia’s favorite anime series is Death Note, an adventure-fantasy written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The series is filled with subtle character development, and with plot twists and turns that have excited millions of fans.
The Tanoto Foundation, a project of Indonesian-born entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto and his family, strives to improve education, welfare, and access to opportunity for underserved people in his developing nation. Through Tanoto Scholarship, like that awarded to Cindy Cicilia, as well as the foundation’s Regional Championship Scholarships, National Championship Scholarships, and Pulp and Paper Academy Technology Scholarships, the country’s young people are better able to achieve their dreams of getting a quality education. The Foundation also recognises the talents that these young people possess and does not limit their creativity or try to mould them into a factory-produced talents. Young people are encouraged to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams, to use their talents and opportunities and benefit the overall mankind.