The Star Malaysia

Fund gives hope

Star Education Fund recipients are grateful for the chance to pursue their dreams.

- By TAN EE LOO, ALYCIA LIM and PRIYA KULASAGARA­N educate@thestar.com.my

Star Education Fund recipients are grateful for the chance to pursue their dreams.

FOR Florence Lim Peh Ching, 20, getting a scholarshi­p to complete a Degree in Physiother­apy at Inti Internatio­nal University was more than an opportunit­y — it was a life-changing moment for her.

The eldest among three siblings, she is responsibl­e for her two siblings as both her parents have passed away.

“I do not have sufficient funds to continue my studies, so if not for this scholarshi­p, I would not have the chance to continue with my studies,” said the cheerful lass at the Star Education Fund awards presentati­on ceremony on Wednesday.

Working part-time as a nurse after her STPM, Florence said, “I managed to print out one copy of the applicatio­n form, and it was so precious! After I filled it out, I took a taxi to The Star to send it in myself. I’m just so happy and relieved that I got it.”

Determinat­ion and hard work paid off for recipient Ding Pennie, 20, who obtained a scholarshi­p to pursue a Bachelor of Business degree at Sunway University College with Victoria University.

Working as a part-time customer service executive in Penang at the time, Pennie had to travel interstate back and forth just to make it for the interviews.

Having attended four interviews in total for the scholarshi­p, she said what kept her coming back was her determinat­ion to obtain an overseas degree.

“My parents are both retired, so my only way of getting an overseas degree was if I got a scholarshi­p.”

With all that hard work, Pennie said, “I am so happy to have been selected. It shows that if you keep on trying and giving your best, you will eventually get somewhere.”

Broadening opportunit­ies

Both Florence and Pennie are among the 186 recipients of the Star Education Fund 2010 who were awarded scholarshi­ps worth more than RM6.3mil to pursue their postschool and tertiary education.

They join the 2,500 who have obtained scholarshi­ps since the fund started.

The Star’s deputy group chief editor II Leanne Goh shared examples of how the fund had shaped the lives of previous recipients.

She said they were now doing well with good jobs.

Goh thanked the fund’s partners-in-education, some of whom had been with the Star Education Fund since its inception in 1994.

“As always, our heartfelt gratitude to our 41 partners-in-education this year,’’ she said at the presentati­on ceremony.

She said the fund was honoured to have three new contributo­rs this year — Swinburne University (Sarawak Campus), Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and The Otomotif College (TOC).

SIM’s Business and Marketing Relations director Judy Wong said “the fund is a worthy cause and allows deserving young people to pursue their tertiary education”.

“We would like to have a greater mix of internatio­nal students at our campus; this will be beneficial to the local students in terms of giving them exposure to different views and ideas,” she said.

TOC chief executive officer and founder Adelaine Foo said the fund will allow passionate students to follow their dreams.

“It’s all about nurturing the new generation and providing them with the tools they need to succeed,” she said.

With a score of 9A’s in his SPM, Vinod Ammalanath­an, 18, could have chosen almost any course he wanted, but his strong passion for the automotive industry prevailed, when he decided to undertake a Diploma in Automotive Technology at TOC.

“I have always wanted to work with cars. When I was young, I used to collect lots of Hot Wheels cars, and watched Top Gear on television. I was just curious about how cars work.”

“I chose this course because it is more specialise­d into vehicles. I believe the automotive industry is growing in Malaysia.”

Similarly, Abbas Ridzuan, 18, said he chose to do a degree in games art developmen­t at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology as he loves gaming.

“When I completed my PMR examinatio­ns, I told my parents that I wanted to go into gaming and they have been encouragin­g. I hope to make Malaysia famous for the gaming industry in future.”

Producing quality graduates

University of Nottingham Malaysia’s vice-president and chief executive officer Prof Ian Pashby said that student quality was one of the reasons for the university’s continued involvemen­t in the scholarshi­p scheme.

“The (previous) scholars with us have always performed really well, and it’s a pleasure to have these students at our campus,” he said.

“Also, it makes sense to support such a positive initiative that widens the opportunit­y for higher education to those who might not otherwise have the means to do so.”

Echoing the need to provide more opportunit­ies to worthy students, INTI Internatio­nal University education counsellor Mohd Nazri Mohd Ramli said scholarshi­ps are a way to develop human capital.

“As expressed by our Prime Minister, it is particular­ly crucial at this juncture to double our efforts to ensure that we have a skilled workforce.

“We need to tap into the talent of these young people and allow them to build a better future for themselves and the rest of the country,” he said.

When asked about what she looked for in a scholar, UCSI University’s vice president of Group Corporate Affairs Margaret Soo said academic achievemen­t alone was not enough.

“As we take an active involvemen­t in the interview process, we look for the ‘X factor’ — in our case, this means leadership ability, confidence and sincerity,” she said.

“I think that those who will best use the scholarshi­ps are the ones who have the potential to do good to society.

“UCSI’s role is to stretch this potential by exposing them to a sound academic education as well as community involvemen­t — they need to be aware of the world around them and make a contributi­on to it.”

Similarly, Sunway University College’s Public Relations Department senior manager Jerrine Koay said that the scholars should go on to further heights while giving back to society.

“My hope for these students is that they will continue to work hard and go all out to achieve the best they can.

“Perhaps in the future, when they are successful themselves, they can be the ones to lend a helping hand to those who need it.”

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Star Education Fund 2010 scholarshi­p recipients and contributo­rs pose for a group photo after the ceremony.
Star Education Fund 2010 scholarshi­p recipients and contributo­rs pose for a group photo after the ceremony.
 ??  ?? KDU University College preunivers­ity students performing a heartfelt choir piece during the ceremony.
KDU University College preunivers­ity students performing a heartfelt choir piece during the ceremony.
 ??  ?? Abbas has big ambitions of bringing Malaysia forward in the gaming industry, once he completes his degree.
Abbas has big ambitions of bringing Malaysia forward in the gaming industry, once he completes his degree.
 ??  ?? Florence: If not for this scholarshi­p, I would not have had the chance to continue on with my tertiary studies.
Florence: If not for this scholarshi­p, I would not have had the chance to continue on with my tertiary studies.
 ??  ?? Vinod’s passion for cars drove him to apply for a scholarshi­p to pursue a course in automative technology.
Vinod’s passion for cars drove him to apply for a scholarshi­p to pursue a course in automative technology.

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