Singapore

Good Samaritan gets a great sponsorship surprise

He helped a woman pay for her studies at Kaplan Singapore.

Now, Kaplan has rewarded him in kind - by sponsoring his daughter's tertiary education.

A few months after a chance encounter in late 2013, technician John Shu, 50, gave about $6,000 to Ms Jaycie Tay, 32, who was struggling with money for a diploma.

The twice-divorced single mother of four had been twice incarcerated for drug offences.

It was on her way back to halfway house The Turning Point that she first met Mr Shu at a Yishun bus stop.

In 2014, she completed her diploma in marketing management from Kaplan Higher Education Institute.

About a week after Kaplan learnt of Mr Shu's kindness from an article in The Sunday Times, it decided to pay close to $20,000 for the tertiary education of his daughter, Shermin Shu, who's 22.

The private school invited the Shus to the Kaplan City Campus @ Wilkie Edge, at Wilkie Road, yesterday, to surprise them with the sponsorship.

As Ms Shu is on holiday in Thailand, Mr Shu received the sponsorship on her behalf from Kaplan's president, Mr Leon Choong. He also received a document to recognise his act of generosity.

John had set in motion a chain of kindness, and in the concept of paying it forward, we didn’t want it to end there. Kaplan President, Mr Leon Choong

Speaking from Thailand, Ms Shu said her family was "on cloud nine", and that Kaplan had called her yesterday morning with the news.

"I thought that I was dreaming. Who would have thought that my dad's simple gesture would give us such a reward?" she said.

She said her parents would have struggled with her university fees, and Kaplan's generosity would motivate her to work harder in university.

Ms Shu recently completed her three-year diploma course in visual communication at Nanyang Polytechnic and plans to pursue her passion in arts and design at university.

Kaplan will reimburse the costs of her polytechnic education - about $8,000 to $9,000.

It will also contribute $10,000 towards her university degree.

Mr Choong said he was touched by Mr Shu's and Ms Tay's story, and had convened an emergency board meeting to see how Kaplan could help Ms Tay.

After learning that she is receiving aid from the Yellow Ribbon Fund Star Bursary, Kaplan turned to Mr Shu instead.

Ms Tay said she had felt bad because she could not repay Mr Shu. But now, she's grateful over how things turned out.

"When Kaplan told me they wanted to recognise his kind heart, I felt like God sent something to help me repay (him)."

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