Student-volunteer receives funding boost
Despite coming from a disadvantaged family, Ms Teri Tay makes it a point to give back to the community.
Growing up, her parents had to struggle to provide for Ms Tay and her two siblings, as well as her elderly grandparents.
Since she turned 16, Ms Tay has been volunteering with various organisations.
Speaking to The New Paper, she said: "Being able to see how helping others creates a difference makes me want to give back. It has also taught me to be less judgmental and more compassionate."
Last month, Ms Tay, 20, was rewarded by the Acclaim Heartware Education Fund (Ahef). Ahef, which is in partnership with Acclaim Insurance Brokers and charity Heartware Network, recognises youth volunteers with financial needs.
Ms Tay, along with two other recipients, will have their tuition fees paid for in full and will also be provided with a laptop and a monthly allowance.
Prior to starting her volunteer work with Heartware Network in 2017, Ms Tay had also volunteered with charity Rainbow Centre and social service agency Lions Befrienders.
Before she received the education fund, Ms Tay was quite worried that her tertiary education would place an extra burden on her family's finances.
She said: "Having three children who are in post-secondary education is not affordable. If I continued with my education, would something have to be (sacrificed)?"
She said the financial support she will receive will lighten the load on her family.
When asked why she chose to devote her time to helping others instead of supplementing the family's income, Ms Tay said: "What drew me to volunteering was that I could make a difference for other people.
"I consider myself quite fortunate because I have an education and a family, and not everybody has that. So I decided that being in that position, (I would) try to be a source of support for them."