When financial commitments weighed heavily on Dr Renuka Mahadevan’s (‘88) mind as she was pursuing her PhD programme at the Australian National University, a concerned academic came to her rescue by facilitating timely financial assistance. Today, Dr Renuka highly appreciates the impact that donors can have on a student’s success at university.
The help she received to achieve her academic dreams demonstrated to her the difference private giving can make in a student’s pursuit of higher education. To pay it forward, she has nominated NUS as a beneficiary of her Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to support students in financial need.
The Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Economics in Australia understands the value of education and its impact on young individuals’ lives. She is, therefore, passionate about helping students who, without the aid of scholarships, have financial difficulties and are not able to give their best to their studies because they have to work long hours to cover their expenses.
Dr Renuka says: “They work for many hours to pay their bills and I have seen their grades suffer. I want to help this type of students as they deserve the opportunity to get a good education.”
She adds: “I have seen many poor students in my teaching career not have the same opportunities as the luckier ones and I wish to address the situation in whatever way I can. Giving to a tertiary institution such as NUS is a good choice as students who are admitted have proven themselves to be worthy of a degree. I want to do what I can for them, so that they can concentrate on their studies to obtain good grades.”
Dr Renuka strongly feels that her success today has been shaped by many who, whether in the form of mentorship, leadership or bursaries, gave her the opportunity to reach seemingly unattainable goals. She now hopes to offer the same help to young people to achieve their dreams.
On her decision to nominate NUS as a recipient of her CPF savings, she shares: “It was something I have always wanted to do and the time is right to do that. Sometimes, you just know intuitively or otherwise, that it is time to act.”
Her hope is that her gift will help students of all cultures, creeds and nationalities, a reflection of her values in giving. She says: “I want to help all needy students regardless of race, citizenship or religion. To me, anyone and everyone deserves a chance.”
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