I think education is important in widening the possible pathways one can take, especially if one has a disability. However, access to education can be particularly challenging for children with disabilities from lower income families, where limited monetary resources are already stretched to meet medical and rehabilitation costs. Financial support such as the Tan Ah Tah – SAWL Fund can go a long way in enabling these children to access further education.
I was one such child – my father is a taxi driver, and my mother is a homemaker. At one point, I did not see a future beyond completing my PSLE and working to supplement my family income. My scholarships from the Fund offset my educational costs, from my secondary school days to my university education. Perhaps, more importantly, it was a signal to me – that people cared that I should continue my education and do my best academically. That helped me place a greater value on my life and believe that my dreams were within reach.
It’s been a long journey. Today, I have gotten my Masters from a reputable university, and am pursuing a career in the public service so as to contribute back to society. Looking back, I am deeply grateful to the Fund for giving me that kickstart in life.
Your contribution to the Fund will help children like me to maximize their potential, and contribute to society in their own ways.
Adrian Tan Assistant Research Analyst at NUS
I am Adrian Tan who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy since birth. This has caused physical impairment and I have to use a wheelchair for mobility. Nonetheless, I did not give up on myself and worked hard like my peers. I have been a recipient of the Tan Ah Tah SAWL Scholarship since I was in Secondary Two.
At first I did not find the scholarship valuable. However in 2005, my father who was the sole breadwinner died in his sleep. His death was devastating and caused my family to face financial difficulties a. With the disbursement I received over the past years, it helped me to continue with my studies.
I did well for my GCE ‘O’ Levels and I enrolled into Nanyang Polytechnic. I worked hard and graduated with a diploma with merit. I continued my studies and enrolled into the Bachelor of Computing (E-Commerce) programme at the National University of Singapore where I specialized in information-security.
Today, I have completed the programme with a 2nd class honours, upper division. I could not have come this far without the support from the Tan Ah Tah SAWL Scholarship. It has allowed me to pursue my interest without worrying about the financial cost. This also shows that people with physical disabilities could do as well as the non-disabled counterparts when given the opportunity.
I thank Tan Ah Tah SAWL scholarship for believing in me and helped created opportunities for me.
Xavier Ong Currently pursuing a degree at Kaplan University
I would like to thank the TAN AH TAH – SAWL FUND for giving me the chance to pursue a degree.
As a visually impaired person, it was really difficult for me to find a good paying job with only an ‘O’ Levels certificate. My first real job with CPF contributions was at the age of 23 years working as a delivery assistant in a family run trading company selling cooking condiments.
My pay at that time was $800 a month with no annual leave and medical benefits. The job scope was also not a glamorous one. The driver who is also one of the business owners and I had to deliver cooking ingredients to different hawker centres and coffee shops all over Singapore. We were constantly competing against the elements. Traffic conditions, weather and time were our enemies. Sometimes we win sometimes we lose.
Time spent on the roads was hard and we have to carry the goods into kitchens with slippery floors while food was still being prepared nearby. I was with this company for slightly over a year but decided to leave because I could not see any chance for advancement. The bring home pay was also not enough for me to set up a family.
I was jobless for over a year after leaving the previous job and was only surviving on my savings and income from doing freelance massage for a few regular customers. With encouragements from my than girlfriend I managed to secure a job as a customer service agent in a call centre. From the work experience gained there I managed to move on to better companies and better positions with also better pay.
Even though I had managed to find jobs with better pay, My desires to move up the corporate ladder was still not being fulfilled. With support from my manager I took up a private diploma in Mass Communication. More opportunities opened up for me after I graduated from my diploma course and with better pay I applied for a HDB flat and got married.We are now proud parents of a baby boy.
With financial assistance from the TAN AH TAH – SAWL FUND, I am currently studying for a degree. Without them I would most probably have to put in my hours at my part time job and would have less time for my studies.
Choo Mei Xia Currently pursuing a degree at Kaplan University
I learn about the Tan Ah Tah – SAWL Scholarship Fund through my social worker and have been a beneficiary of the scholarship from 2009 to 2012. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Tan Ah Tah – SAWL Scholarship Fund. This scholarship has enabled me to accomplish my academic goals. It has also helped me to enhance my knowledge and skills through constantly upgrading myself. As we know, education is very important and it will impact many people’s lifes even people with disabilities. So with the helped of the fund, it has enabled me to complete my CAT program in 2009 and currently pursuing my ACCA qualification. All thanks to the financial support from the fund, it has enabled me to focus entirely on my education with a peace of mind. The fund has greatly helped me throughout my studies journey. Without the fund, the qualification awarded to me would not be possible. Last but not least, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Tan Ah Tah – SAWL Scholarship Fund for my academic support and help make my future better as I don’t come from a wealthy family. This fund really make a huge different to me. It is a source of encouragement to me. I, hereby strongly believe that this fund has benefited many and touched my people’s lifes out there.