HONG KONG, China – The Chinese government is paying for the nearly 100 students from Tacoma’s Lincoln High School to visit mainland China this month.

A Lincoln graduate helped pay to extend the trip to include Hong Kong.

Hong Kong native David Chong spent his high school years in Tacoma and appreciated the way he was treated by the city and his fellow students. Helping raise funds to bring the students to Hong Kong was a way to pay that community back.

Lincoln is considered a “low income” school, and Chong said he could be described as the same when he was a student.

He hopes exposing the students to Chinese culture will strengthen the relationship between the United States and China, but he also hopes students can see that they too can be successful when they grow up.

”I think it’s good for them,” said Chong. “I want to let them know if they work hard, they study hard, the chance always will come to them.”