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Singaporean students with disabilities awarded Microsoft YouthSpark scholarship

Zafirah Salim | Sept. 18, 2015
This scholarship aims to help promising local youths with disabilities pursue higher learning in Information Technology (IT)-related fields.

Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship 2015 Recipients Er Xue Hui, Daryl Loh, Mohamed Najulah, Ang Chin Hao and Then An Zhi with Ms Jessica Tan and Ms Chia Yong Yong

Five scholarships were awarded to outstanding young Singaporeans with disabilities at the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2015 this morning (Sept 18) at the NTUC Business Centre.

Launched in 2009 and administered by SPD - an organisation that supports people with disabilities - the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship was introduced to help promising local youths with disabilities pursue higher learning in Information Technology (IT)-related fields.

Each year, the scholarship provides recipients with the necessary financial support by funding IT-related diplomas or degree courses offered by local polytechnics and universities. The annual quantum for the scholarship is S$12,000 for degree courses and S$5,000 for diploma courses.

Through partnerships with governments, non-profit organisations and businesses, programmes under Microsoft YouthSpark empowers youths to achieve their full potential by connecting them with greater education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

This year's scholarship recipients impressed the judging panel with their inspiring display of strength, courage and resilience in overcoming a variety of physical and sensory challenges, including macular dystrophy (vision impairment), hearing impairment, osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones disease) and Asperger's syndrome.

These recipients include second-time beneficiary, Ang Chin Hao, first-year student in Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering) course at Nanyang Technological University (NTU); Mohamed Najulah, second-year student in Diploma in Business Information Technology course at Singapore Polytechnic (SP); Er Xue Hui, first-year student in Computing and Computer Science at National University of Singapore; Then An Zhi, a first-year student in Engineering at NTU; and Daryl Loh, a first-year Infocomm Security Management student at SP.

"People with disabilities have work potential. When given the opportunity, job accommodation and support, they too can contribute to the economic growth of Singapore.  We are encouraged by the help of Microsoft Singapore in supporting the IT-related aspirations of students with disabilities, and our partners SG Enable and Work Development Authority (WDA) in advancing the employment of people with disabilities, and hope that inclusive hiring will become second nature, and not initiated as a corporate social responsibility exercise," said Abhimanyau Pal, Executive Director, SPD.

"We are happy to be able to renew our commitment to the community for people with disabilities through the Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship again this year. Since we started the scholarship programme in 2009, we have awarded a total of 28 scholarships and committed over S$300,000 in financial support to help students with disabilities pursue tertiary education in IT-related fields," added Jessica Tan, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore. "This year, we are heartened to see that these youths did not allow their disabilities to be barriers to what they want to achieve in life. In fact, they have such a strong sense of purpose and are focused on the impact that they want to create."


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