Despite discovering that “late nights”, “panda eyes” and a staple diet of coffee were the norm during the four years in the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law, Year 4 student Geena Liaw describes her experience as “challenging yet fulfilling”. Receiving the Yik Luen and Wei Han Bursary has given her greater freedom to lead a more vibrant and fulfilling student life at NUS.
Established by a young married couple who had benefitted from student grants, scholarships and bursaries during their studies at NUS, the Yik Luen and Wei Han Bursary is awarded to financially needy students from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Engineering.
Coming from a humble background, Geena explains, “S$5,000 is not a small amount of money to my family, and receiving the Bursary really helped ease the financial burden on my parents’ shoulders. If not for the Bursary, I would probably be giving part-time tuition after school, and will never have the luxury of time to focus on my studies and other meaningful extracurricular activities.”
As Law students tend to be embroiled in extensive academic discussions on contentious legal issues, Geena makes the extra effort to maintain a study-life balance by actively participating in activities outside the academic sphere. She shares, “I started off volunteering at the Legal Clinics organised by the NUS Pro Bono Group and Pro Bono Services Office. That was where I started to see the applicability of textbook legal concepts on real-life cases, and had newfound appreciation for law. I also embarked on a pilot pro bono project called NUS Student Companions, where we assist litigants-in-person at the Family Court in non-legal matters, such as explaining court procedures and forms to them.” Such projects were inspiring to her because they gave her fresh perspectives on life and relationships.
Geena’s passion for meaningful activities does not stop there. Outside of law school, she set up a non-profit company called Bringing Love to Every Single Soul (Singapore) Ltd (BLESS), with a few like-minded friends from NUS. BLESS, which is wholly operated by NUS alumni and undergraduates who are committed to volunteer their time and energies, seeks to engage and empower individuals and companies to enrich the lives of the less privileged. To date, their programmes include providing children with school necessities, conducting weekly reading programmes for young children staying at rental blocks, and reaching out to elderly living alone to encourage participation in their social support network. “This is what keeps me grounded in the world, where one can get too caught up with grades, relationships, and material possessions,” she says.
Having had the chance to meet both Mr Yik Luen and Ms Wei Han, Geena was able to find out more about the couple’s giving philosophy. She is thankful for such “field-levelers”, who put financially disadvantaged students on a more even playing field with the rest of the students, such that they are able to channel more time and energies into studies and other school activities.” She is very honoured to be a recipient of such an inspiring gift. “No amount of words can sufficiently express my gratitude for their kindness and generosity. The only way to fully express my sincerest gratitude is to pass on the kindness I have and give back to NUS as alumni one day,” she says.
For information on making a gift to NUS, contact us at 1800-DEVELOP (1800-338-3567) or email email@example.com
If you have a story to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org