Reuniting with a benefactor through the Peh Chin Hua Bursary

Being awarded a bursary can drastically improve a student’s financial situation, allowing them to concentrate on pursuing their academic interests and school activities with minimal worry. Outside-in speaks to a recent Peh Chin Hua Bursary award recipient, BBA Year 3 Chong Kia Wei, where he reunites with the same benefactor 17 years later.

Chong Kia Wei, recipient of the Peh Chin Hua Bursary this year, together with donor Mr Peh Chin Hua (right)

17 years ago, a young primary school student received a bursary from his Member of Parliament for Japan Besar GRC at a community centre near his home. The gift enabled the little boy to receive a primary school education that would set him up for the rest of his future.

Fast forward to today and Kia Wei recalls that event as one that his family and he remembers till this day. Imagine his surprise when he was notified that his bursary application through NUS Business School and the Office of Financial Aid was approved and his donor was none other than his former MP– Mr Peh Chin Hua.

Kia Wei is currently specialising in both Operations and Finance. He chose to focus on these two areas due to his keen interest in operations and recognising that finance skills are important to have. He applied for a bursary to help ease his family’s financial burden to support his University education.

He is also very involved in the vibrant on-campus lifestyle. An active resident of Kent Ridge Hall, he participates in many of their events. Some highlights representing the hall in squash tournaments, being the treasurer of the Flag team, and as a Block committee member, which essentially serves as a student leader for a residential block of around 100 students. Another reason why he chose to stay in a hall is so that he can help his family out financially.

Kia Wei (right) competing for Kent Ridge Hall in the Squash inter-hall games

A supper session with the KR Hall Flag teams (past and present) brainstorming on fundraising

“I was extremely happy and pleasantly surprised when I was informed. I think what stuck with me the most was when I informed my family of the news and saw their reactions of joy and relief, as the financial burden on them had been alleviated. Getting the bursary has helped me focus on my studies and meaningful pursuits. It has allowed me to stay in a residential hall without the need to worry about financial issues, and my family is able to rent out my room at home for extra income.”

Kia Wei had the opportunity to meet Mr Peh at the Undergraduate Scholarship and Bursary Awards Appreciation Dinner 2017 on Friday, 17 February.

“I thanked him for his generosity, and was able to reminisce on some connections we had in the past. We had a good conversation about his time as a MP, and I also got to pick his brain and received some advice in planning for my future and for my family,” Kia Wei said.

“What a surprise it was to hear that my gifts were able to help a student twice in his lifetime. This is really a memorable first for me,” said Mr Peh, who is a NUS Business School EMBA Alumnus. “Kia Wei is a worthy recipient whose determination and hard work has really impressed me. I have no doubt he will succeed in life.”

These generous gifts from Mr Peh has inspired Kia Wei to pay it forward.

“The idea of having someone aid me in my student life financially has motivated me to do the same for others in the community,” he said. “Receiving the bursaries and having the money credited to you does not mean the end of the chain, I believe as recipients of these bursaries, it is part of our duty to make the most of the situation we are in due to the bursaries, and try to pass on the information to other students that may even need the help more than you do.”

Kia Wei receiving the award from Mr Peh Chin Hua, with Vice Dean, Prof Chng Chee Kiong (right)

After Mr Peh retired from politics, he went back to school and graduated with an Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA) from NUS Business School. Since then, he has also been a generous donor to the School with 4 named scholarships/bursary awards under his and his family’s name.

To find out more about NUS Giving, please visit here.

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