It has been one year since a photo of Wang Fuman’s icy hair went viral on Chinese social media and earned him the nickname “Ice Boy”.
On that particular morning, Wang’s hair and eyebrows had accumulated an excess of icy frost after his daily 3-mile trek to school in the cold.
Every day, the 9-year-old boy spent over an hour hiking from his mud home to the Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Zhaotong City.
Upon arriving at the school after a long journey through the snow, Wang’s teacher posted a photo of the third grader to social media as a means of praising the student for his tenacity.
The photos were shared thousands of time – and as more and more people learned of the region’s harsh conditions of poverty, donations started to pour in.
One year later, Wang’s life is very different from when the viral photo was taken.
Reporters from the People’s Daily recently visited the youngster and found that he and his family had been able to move from their cracked mud hut into a 2-story smart house in the village of Zhuanbaoshan – which is just a 10-minute walk from his school.
His father was also able to get a construction job closer to his family where he now earns a salary that is higher than the average wages in the area.
Wang’s family was not the only ones to benefit from the photo, either; his school, which had previously been unable to afford proper heating, has been completely renovated so that it now has an art room, laboratory, computer room, and dormitories for children who shouldn’t be walking long distances to school every day.
“All the attention [the students have received] has made them feel the wonder of the world and their ideas have changed a great deal,” said Fu Heng, the school’s deputy principal. “The seeds of dreams that one day they will be able to walk away from the mountains have been planted, and they are very hopeful for the future.”
Despite the fame and attention that Wang has received in the last year, however, the youngster is reportedly still very humble and earning top marks in his class so he can one day fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.
(WATCH last year’s news coverage of the “Ice Boy” below)
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