A humble family background. An ordinary childhood. A former bursary recipient. A rewarding educational journey. A successful career.
Mr Teo (’04), a successful commodities trader and former Lee Foundation Bursary recipient, looked back on his life and had a vision: he should perpetuate the cycle of giving. Mr Teo called his alma mater and expressed his desire to contribute. The result: he has been giving to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Engineering Student Development Fund (ESDF) for the past three years.
The student fund housed at the NUS Faculty of Engineering not only disburses bursaries to financially needy Engineering students but also enables them to participate in enhancement programmes, both local and overseas.
Mr Teo hopes that with more contributions to the Faculty, more Engineering students will not have a financial burden to worry about and can have equal opportunities to enjoy a holistic educational experience. He recalls how financial aid made a deep impression on his life. “My father was a taxi-driver and my mother was a housewife. I was giving tuition to supplement my pocket money. The Bursary definitely helped,” he shares.
The Chinese High School alumnus also remembers being inspired by the story of how Mr Tan Kah Kee founded the school with philanthropy. In following his footsteps, he hopes that the students benefitting through the various programmes in the University can also “pass it forward” in the future.
Twin brothers Kwah Yi Hao and Kwah Yi Kai are two students who have benefitted from Mr Teo’s benevolence to the ESDF.
“The financial burden on my parents is particularly daunting as both my twin brother and I are pursuing undergraduate studies at the same time. Hence, I am very grateful towards the donors. Casting financial troubles aside, I could pursue my academic aspirations. The financial relief has allowed me to participate in the French Double Degree Programme, and exposed me to an experience beyond imagination,” says Yi Hao, a Year 4 Mechanical Engineering student. Yi Kai is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Economics.
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