AMERICAN activist for civil and children's rights Marian Wright Edelman once said, "Education is for improving the lives of others, and for leaving your community and the world better than you found it."
Such a powerful message rings true time after time, for quality education gives individuals the best hope of creating a better future - for themselves and the communities around them.
The Gamuda Scholarship was established in 1996 to contribute to this vision sustainably. Fast forward to now, the scholarship has become a significant financial support to those in need and in developing young individuals through education opportunities. With Yayasan Gamuda - the foundation arm of Gamuda that oversees the Gamuda Scholarship; the Group has since extended its scholarship aid to nearly 500 inspiring young students who have become recognised professionals in Malaysia and abroad.
Lim Hui Yan is an excellent example of how education can be life-changing. A recipient of the Gamuda Scholarship herself back in 2008, she has gone on to achieve great things and worked on ground-breaking projects such as the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) – the MRT Kajang and Putrajaya Lines and Malaysia's first Digital Industrialised Building System.
She also played a significant role in spearheading Gamuda Digital IBS and is now an executive director of Gamuda Engineering and leading the Yayasan Gamuda - a crucial role in overseeing the Group's social efforts.
Lim says, "As a regional infrastructure and engineering company, we are in the right position to bring about positive and measurable change to communities. Yayasan Gamuda has been shouldering all our community efforts with one mission – to make a difference in people's lives.
"We know that we can be a conduit to a more sustainable future by providing greater education opportunities to deserving talents through scholarships. The scholarship offered by Gamuda does not focus only on financial needs but on building future graduates with strong leadership qualities and a place to grow professionally."
Levelling the playing field
We believe there are many deserving candidates, especially from B40 families, that we can help provide education opportunities through our scholarship programme.
The high cost of tuition and living expenses can also be a stumbling block for many deserving students. To those from lower-income families, university qualifications remain a dream, and they would never be able to reach their full potential.
The impact of Covid-19 has further exacerbated the situation, and there is a more compelling need to focus on lower-income families' welfare.
"With this in our minds and to enable more students to realise their dreams, we intend to double our scholarship provision to RM10mil for 2022 and continuously scale up our scholarship allocation to financially needy candidates from various states as the need arises. As a start, Yayasan Gamuda has been proactively engaging with various feeder schools to ensure we are reaching out to the right candidates. Our aim is that no one should be left behind in securing education opportunities," Lim adds.
"In addition, we are targeting more students from rural areas in Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan to benefit from a new Skill Enrichment Programme lined up for 2023, where they will be given the opportunity to study diploma or certificate courses," said Lim.
The equal opportunity to get quality education locally and internationally for those in need, from poorer families and those outside the Klang Valley would bring forth potential that would otherwise be hidden due to the social-economic gap.
By taking away the financial strains on the family, it is hoped that students will value this opportunity for education and be the catalyst that will eventually pull these families out of poverty.
A gem of international exposure
In a world interconnected like today, having a global mindset is an added advantage. Because of this, the Gamuda Scholarship is also set to increase its overseas university placements.
Studying abroad allows students to gain new insights that can add an advantage when they get into the working world.
The success of past scholars only cements this belief and serves as a reminder that students can achieve various feats given the right opportunity and platform.
Gamuda Engineering managing director Justin Chin Jing Ho recounts his experience,
"I started my journey with Gamuda in 2008 when I was awarded the Gamuda Scholarship to further my education in civil and environmental engineering with Imperial College, where I was able to experience new things and meet people from around the world.
"With the industry networks to support all scholars, I had vast exposure to leadership. I graduated and began my journey as a tunnel engineer at Gamuda.
"It was definitely an exhilarating experience, especially since I was involved in the MRT Kajang Line – the first KVMRT Project, in 2012. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it has been a stepping stone that allowed me to become the tunnel general manager for MMC Gamuda KVMRT (T) Sdn Bhd in 2018.
"Throughout my journey in Gamuda and now as Gamuda Engineering managing director, the group has actively supported me. By giving me the space to learn and grow as well as actively contribute to a sustainable world, I was able to be involved in the birthing of the world's first autonomous tunnel boring machine in 2019, putting Malaysia on the global mark of tunnelling fraternity," says Chin.
Beyond financial aid, Gamuda has groomed many next-generation leaders and spearheaded many firsts in industry excellence.
With the group's focus on sustainable business, Chin was also recently awarded the Science and Sustainability Award at the recent British (UK) Alumni Awards 2021/22 for contributing to the Group's ESG commitments.
Chin concludes, "Because of my overseas experience made possible with Gamuda, I hope more students will be able to unlock their potential through the Gamuda Scholarship,".
Your journey towards success begins here
Youths are the future torchbearers. More than just financial aid, Gamuda Scholarship provides youths with a brighter future.
Apply now at https://rebrand.ly/GS-2022.