Second Year National University of Singapore (NUS) student Gavin Tan, is part of the organising team for a concert that will be held for migrant workers at the NUS University Town auditorium. But until recently, Gavin had little time for his extra-curricular interests as he had to take on part-time jobs to make ends meet.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences student says, “Before receiving the Tan Lark Sye Bursary, I paid for my school fees from my savings from part-time jobs and National Service. Now, I don’t have to take up so many part-time jobs and tuition assignments. I can also keep a little bit of my savings for myself.”
Gavin is the middle child in a family of five. His mother is a homemaker and his father is a self-employed car broker. The family does not have a stable income. On top of supporting himself through school, Gavin also tries to contribute to his family’s household expenses. His financial difficulties have motivated him to help others once he graduates.
The Tan Lark Sye Bursary was established with a generous gift from the Aik Hoe Group of Companies, in honour of its founder. Tan Lark Sye (1897 – 1975) was a strong advocate of education. While he was the chairman of the Hokkien Clan Association, he developed many Chinese schools such as Tao Nan School and Nan Chiau School. Among other gifts to education, he also made a generous gift to the University of Malaya (a predecessor of NUS), when it was set up in 1949.
Gavin says, “There are many others in my situation or who are worse off. I want to become a financial planner and make a difference in their lives by helping them. I also hope to give back to NUS and support future students just as the gift to establish this Bursary has supported me.”