Recently, the Ministry of Transport and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions jointly announced the winners of the "Most Outstanding Bus Drivers" award for 2023.

Yu Yimu, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in Administrative Management from Qingdao Open University (OU), distinguished himself among nominees from provinces and cities across the nation. He was honoured with a spot in the "Top 10 Most Outstanding Bus Drivers" for 2023, becoming the sole recipient from Shandong Province to earn this distinction.

Yu Yimu, a driver in Qingdao, has exemplified the "Spirit of Craftsmanship" over the past 23 years. By elevating simple tasks to extraordinary levels and transforming ordinary work into something exceptional, he has demonstrated a profound commitment to his craft.

Qingdao OU has a distinguished history of producing outstanding alumni throughout its 45-year history. Notable examples include Wang Yan, a national labour model; Jiang Ling, a technical expert in the national textile industry; Zhou Yong, a chief technologist at CRRC Sifang Co., Ltd; and Geng Wei, a pioneering worker in Qingdao. Beyond these names, countless other alumni have dedicated themselves to excellence in their respective fields, embodying the proactive and entrepreneurial spirit of Qingdao OU students.

Over the past 45 years, Qingdao OU has trained more than 300,000 university students for Qingdao, making up over one-seventh of the city's talent pool. In recent years, more than 20,000 individuals annually have joined Qingdao OU to "recharge" and further their personal growth. Concurrently, over 20,000 graduates exit this "university without walls" each year, ready to enter various industries in Qingdao with confidence. These students primarily hail from Qingdao and remain in their jobs while studying, continuing to work in Qingdao after graduation. In terms of enhancing the talent reserves and the average educational level of the labour force in Qingdao, Qingdao OU stands as the university making the most direct and significant contribution.

Assisting hundreds of people with selfless dedication

In 1999, Yu Yimu, then in his twenties, entered the public transportation industry as a driver. Since embarking on this journey, he has been steadfastly committed to his role, amassing over a million kilometres of safe driving without a single complaint or accident to his name. Yu Yimu extends wholehearted assistance to passengers, earning him more than 1,150 commendations annually in various forms—a remarkable achievement in service industry.

Yu Yimu's commitment to service extends far beyond his duties on the bus, as he has dedicated over 17,000 hours to volunteer work. His phone contains the contact information of more than 2,000 passengers he has assisted in the last two decades, including over 100 individuals whom he has supported through long-term volunteer efforts. Over a span of six years, Yu has organised and participated in more than 300 volunteer activities, establishing himself as a leader in youth volunteer service within Qingdao's public transportation sector. Thanks to Yu Yimu's influence, an increasing number of people are joining in volunteer activities.

Encouraging tens of thousands of people to be concerned about public welfare

During his volunteer service, many colleagues were inspired to join in, motivating Yu Yimu to develop a systematic approach to leading everyone in volunteer activities. In 2012, Yu Yimu founded the "Yimu Innovation Studio," with over 130 colleagues joining initially. The following year, under Yu Yimu's guidance and leadership, a volunteer service alliance comprising 21 volunteer teams was established. Over the past decade, this alliance has engaged over 15,000 people each year in volunteer activities, providing long-term care for more than 110 empty-nesters and elderly individuals living alone, offering companionship to over 600 elderly residents across eight nursing homes, and providing long-term assistance to over 60 children. They have connected with four special education institutions and regularly conducted volunteer tutoring and civilized traffic volunteer services in over 40 schools. Additionally, they have offered voluntary haircuts and free appliance repairs to more than 60 villages and communities, performing nearly 20,000 good deeds annually. Yu Yimu has led his team to raise over 1.5 million yuan for volunteer activities, personally contributing more than 130,000 yuan.

Over the past three years, the volunteer service team led by Yu Yimu has garnered significant attention, being featured over 100 times by national media outlets, including CCTV and People's Daily. In 2018, this volunteer service alliance was honoured with the "Four 100s" Advanced Typical Model Award for its exemplary Lei Feng volunteer services. Additionally, the Yimu Innovation Studio has received prestigious recognitions as the "Shandong Provincial Innovative Studio of Model Labour Talent" and has been designated a "Shandong Provincial Demonstration Site for Activities of Learning from Lei Feng."

Inspiring thousands of people to engage in public welfare

Yu Yimu has served two consecutive terms as a deputy to the Qingdao Municipal People's Congress and has been appointed to the national labour model lecture team by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. Additionally, Yu is one of the inaugural experts at the Workers Empowerment Research Institute of the Qingdao Municipal Federation of Trade Unions and a member of the Qingdao Municipal labour model lecture team. Through his lectures and teaching, Yu has tirelessly promoted the spirit of volunteer service. His commitment has taken him nationwide, beyond Qingdao, to nearly 20 cities including Beijing and Tianjin for public welfare lectures. Over the last decade, Yu has delivered more than 600 lectures, reaching an audience of over 120,000 people.


By Qingdao OU