AHEF Levels Playing Field for Students Affected by COVID-19 Crisis

May 20, 2021   |   Yogaraj P

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While the world continues to fight the COVID-19 crisis, less privileged families are often still reeling from its economic impact. In a 2020 study in Singapore, more than 1,000 low-income families saw a 69 percent decline in their median household income. For those with children about to pursue or currently pursuing tertiary education, the financial strain is more pronounced. Thankfully, however, the Acclaim Heartware Education Fund (AHEF) is back to lend a helping hand.

AHEF is a collaboration between Acclaim Insurance Brokers Pte Ltd and Heartware Network (HWN) targeting youth volunteers with financial needs, aiming to ease their worries related to educational expenses. The study award recognises effective and consistent volunteerism as a valid and prestigious form of merit. AHEF seeks to reward active youth volunteers for their continuous contributions to the community by funding their tertiary education.

Available to both polytechnic and university students, the fund includes the complete sponsorship of tuition fees, a monthly allowance of $300, and a one-time laptop allowance of up to $1,500.

In addition, Acclaim will provide internship opportunities – subject to COVID-19 regulations – to students during term breaks. Guaranteed employment also awaits AHEF recipients as they can expect to work one year at Acclaim upon graduation, giving them a head start in their careers.

From left to right: Ms Tan See Leng, Executive Director of HWN; Teri Tay, AHEF Recipient; Mr Anthony Lim, Founder and Executive Chairman of Acclaim; Jennifer Chiow, Director of Creative Services of Acclaim.

Last year’s AHEF recipient Teri Tay was very grateful for the award, stating that the financial support she is receiving eases the load on her family. Including Tay, there has been a total of 3 AHEF recipients since the grant’s inception.

Before obtaining the scholarship, Tay was concerned her tertiary education would be an added burden on her family’s financial situation. She feared that either her or her two siblings may have been forced to halt their studies due to financial constraints.

Speaking to The New Paper about her family, the 20-year-old said: “who are in post-secondary education is not affordable. If I continued with my education, would something have to be (sacrificed)?”

Fortunately, Tay avoided such a situation and

she can owe that to her volunteering efforts. Tay has been a HWN volunteer since 2017. Before that, she had also volunteered with other non-profit organisations. Tay said: “What drew me to volunteering was that I could make a difference for other people.

“Being able to see how helping others creates a difference makes me want to give back.”

One of AHEF’s main aims is to uplift students from less privileged backgrounds, ensuring they are on the same playing field as the rest of their peers. Syafiq Syahrom, 2018 AHEF recipient, said: “[AHEF] is a statement that regardless of your financial background or status, you can contribute, and be valued in more ways than with just academics.”

From left to right: Syafiq Sahrom, recipient of AHEF in 2018; Mr. Anthony Lim, Founder and Executive Chairman of Acclaim; and Mr. Tony Lim, CEO of Acclaim.

The English and Psychology double major at the National University of Singapore also said: “It is a great feeling to know that I can focus on my education without having to worry too much about finances.”

AHEF seeks to enable deserving young leaders who have demonstrated their ability and willingness to give back to their community to do more, and to do better. Through the grant, AHEF recipients are still able to continue their volunteering efforts. Students will also be able to explore more crucial and diverse roles with HWN as they look to contribute to the community.

Acclaim’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr. Anthony Lim, is a strong believer in youth development. He said: “Investing in our youth is very different from helping any other group of people.

“If we help our youth today, they can be the catalyst to change our society positively, and have multiplier effect to impact the future.”

More information on AHEF is available at tinyurl.com/ahef21

Interested students who meet the criteria can apply for AHEF at https://www.youthbank.sg/ by 7 June. For further inquiries, do contact 6509 4414 or drop a email to hwa.admin@heartware-network.org