Students with Disabilities Get Boost to Reach for Bigger Dreams | SPD - Singapore

Students with Disabilities Get Boost to Reach for Bigger Dreams


President Halimah Yacob (third from right) in a photo with three of the SPD Youth Aspiration Award winners.

The SPD Education Programme (EP) Award Ceremony 2018 was held at the SPD Ability Centre on 20 January and graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore.

Bursaries amounting to $117,550 were awarded to 95 students with disabilities and students whose parents have disabilities, and from low-income families. It was one of the highest disbursements in recent years as more students in institutes of higher learning are supported. Three youths also received a grant through the SPD Youth Aspiration Awards (YAA) to pursue their interests.

In her address, President Halimah Yacob, said: “Education is a social leveler. Bursaries like this will help lessen the financial hardships of families, make education more accessible to all children, and encourage them to strive for their dreams,” said Mdm Halimah during the address.

17-year-old Lee Chee Yong (left) is one of the beneficiaries of the bursary programme since he was 8-year-old.

One of the recipients was 17-year-old Lee Chee Yong, who has cerebral palsy, and a beneficiary of the bursary programme since he was 8-year-old.

“With the bursary award, I can purchase books and materials that are needed to help me in my studies,” said the Yishun junior college student.

This year’s YAA recipients were 21-year-old Joshua Tseng, 19-year-old Justin Kueh and 23-year-old Shahrul Izwan. Joshua, who has vision loss, is a passionate disability advocate. He won in the community service category for public speaking while fellow recipient Justin, who has hearing impairment and lip-reads during conversations, won the judging panel over with his love for music, double-bass in particular. Shahrul, whose lower limbs had suddenly weakened when he was 16, has to rely on a wheelchair since. He went on to blaze the tracks in wheelchair racing and received the YAA in the sports category.

Activities were held and gifts were given out during the event.

Both the bursary programme and YAA are sponsored by NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd.

“NatSteel is honored and privileged to be able to contribute to the SPD Education Programme Bursary Award for the tenth year running, and the SPD Youth Aspiration Award since 2014. We believe strongly that the future lies in the young generation and by providing what we can to enable their dreams to come true, we are also providing space for the future generation to grow and become a driving force ahead,” said Mr Ashish Anupam, President and Chief Executive Officer of NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd.

In encouraging the students to give back in their own ways, Mr Winston Ngan, SPD’s Vice President said: “I urge the young people here today to study, live and play hard and when you are older, make your impact on the community in your own unique ways. When you are able to contribute and give back to the community, seize that opportunity and make that difference.”

A partnership with Uber also saw close to 100 award recipients and their families travelling to SPD in Uber vehicles. The two-way trips for every family were sponsored by Uber.