Family's financial difficulties had him working harder
At 18, Mr Terrence Goh Shuo Fu was juggling his studies at a polytechnic with his job as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant.
He had found out that his family had just $1,000 in savings.
"It was a shocking moment. I knew I had to grow up and find avenues to supplement the finances," said the 21-year-old.
Strained relations and financial issues at home had led his mother to visit the casino as an outlet to release stress. Eventually, she got into trouble with the law and was jailed.
Mr Goh said: "Then, I was resentful towards her, because suddenly, I had a lot of responsibilities I was not ready for, thrown at me."
He was studying multimedia and animation at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) after leaving junior college in the middle of his first year to pursue his passion.
Mr Goh, who has a younger sister, quickly started working to help pay the bills.
He started as a waiter, then a social media reporter for a start-up.
He continued working until the end of his second year in NP.
"There were times of negativity. I felt exhausted, but I had to go on. After a night's sleep, I would forget about them," said Mr Goh, who will graduate on Monday.
Throughout his three years at the polytechnic, he received the NP Scholarship, which is worth about $10,500 and helped cover his school fees.
Mr Goh's mother has since been released from prison, and his family's financial situation has also improved.
"I realised my parents are also humans who make mistakes. All these have made me more determined to become a better person. We are much closer now," Mr Goh said.
With a friend, the entrepreneurial student founded Yosei Labs, which specialises in web design and search engine optimisation.
Mr Goh said: "I have learnt that the world does not owe me a living, and I have to make a mark with my own hands."