Varsity students turn mentors to pay it forward

  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 06 Aug 2020

Teng, 19 (fourth left) with her friends who started the ‘Tutor with Thought’ programme to raise funds for St Nicholas’ Home for the Blind visiting the premises in Jalan Bagan Jermal, George Town.

A UNIVERSITY student who is back in Malaysia due to the coronavirus has started a movement to raise funds for St Nicholas’ Home for the Blind in Penang by helping students apply for their desired courses in overseas universities.

Nattalyn Teng, 19, was moved by the plight of the home when she read an article in The Star about their struggle to stay afloat during the movement control order (MCO).

“I am back home in Penang from the United Kingdom due to Covid-19.

“When I read about their plight and needing funds I knew I had to do something.

“Soon, school leavers will need to go through the process of applying for courses in universities.

“It is not easy for I struggled with the process and at first did not know my options a while back.

“I realised I could help them for a nominal fee that can be channelled towards the home.”

Teng then started the initiative with her brother and some friends, naming it ‘Tutor with Thought’.

Those seeking guidance from them are required to deposit the ‘fee’ directly into the bank account of St Nicholas’ Home.

“We are a group of university students eager to create a social impact and help our local community by leveraging on our skills and knowledge to help others.

“We guide school leavers through their applications of getting into top-notch universities.

“Our services include free webinars, one-on-one mock interviews, personal statement consultations and mentorship programmes with some 80 mentors on board who had successfully entered universities, ” she said.

Teng said she was happy to have established an extensive platform of university students (mentors) from top universities including Oxbridge, Imperial, University College London, London School of Economics and King’s College London.

“For the one-to-one support programme, we pair students applying for a specific university with undergraduates, pursuing a similar course from the same university, as mentors.”

Teng hopes to raise RM5,000 for the home.

The home’s general manager David Chiang said he felt encouraged by Teng’s efforts.

“Instead of them idling their time away while they are back here, these caring students are using it to do charity work.

“It is rare to find people at their age so concerned about doing something for the community, ” he said.

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