PETALING JAYA: In its 25 years of existence, the Star Education Fund has transformed the lives of many and one such person is medical student Yee Shermaine.
Determined to help her autistic brother, the 20-year-old lass is grateful for the chance to study medicine at Quest International University Perak.
Her mother is a part-time beautician while her father is a full-time caregiver.
“My elder brother is 21 but because he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, he is very child-like. I also have a younger brother who’s still in school.
“Financially, it’s a strain on my parents so this scholarship means a lot to us,” she said during the scholarship presentation ceremony and silver anniversary celebration at Eastin Hotel here yesterday.
Yee, who started her course in May, is enjoying her studies despite having to be away from her family in Kuala Lumpur.
“I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and I’m willing to work hard for it,” she said.
Apart from Yee, another 149 students are benefiting from the over RM9mil worth of scholarships given out by the Star Education Fund to mark its 25th anniversary.
Theebathacaiyani Armugom had been struggling most of her life to fund her studies.
“My mother just started a small hawker business to help my father who repairs televisions for a living,” said the 20-year-old from Perak.
“I’ve always tried to excel in my studies because it is a way to get financial aid.”
Theebathacaiyani said she was ecstatic when she found out she was a recipient to continue her Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.
Yee, Theebathacaiyani and the other deserving students got their chance to further their tertiary education at some of the country’s top learning institutions thanks to the fund’s 31 partners-in-education.
This year, three more universities – Monash University Malaysia, University of Reading Malaysia, and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Dublin (UCD) Malaysia Campus (RUMC) – have joined as partners.
Star Media Group Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said RUMC’s scholarship for medicine is worth almost RM628,000.
“In the 1990s, The Star established itself as a dominant player in the print media scene which gave us the opportunity to extend our influence into areas that needed public support and attention.
“One such area was education. The Star Education Fund was a way to support and give young talents a good start to the future,” he said.
Launched in 1994, the fund has helped some 4,000 students with RM127.4mil scholarships awarded.
“Each youth we support has the potential to truly change their lives and the lives of their families, thanks to you,” he said.
Wong also thanked the fund’s top six contributors: Sunway University, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Quest International University Perak, UCSI University Trust, University of Reading Malaysia and RUMC.
> See full report in StarEducate next Sunday.