Overcoming tough times

An unexpected event in her family changed Jenny Ong’s life. With education subsidies and determination, she got back on her feet.
At 17, Jenny Ong hit a low point in her life – her dad suffered from a medical condition that left her mother, a factory worker, as the sole breadwinner of the family. To reduce her family’s financial burden, she decided to find a part-time job while waiting to enroll into ITE. 

It feels awful to see my mum working so hard as the sole breadwinner. I want to be able to provide for myself so she wouldn’t have to worry about me as well.

She eventually found work at a bubble tea store, and continued working at the shop three to four days a week while pursuing her Higher Nitec in Biotechnology at ITE. It was challenging to manage both studies and work, but she pressed on.

It was tiring to work on weekends initially, but I persevered. After a while, I got used to working and studying at the same time.
While the pay from her part-time job and the Higher Education Community Bursary (formerly known as the CDC Bursary) helped with her own expenses, Jenny was glad that she could also use her Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA), to pay for her tuition fees.

Today, Jenny, 20, is a Patient Service Associate at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She is also studying part-time for a Diploma in Applied Science at Republic Polytechnic.

I’m really grateful for the support I’ve received. Because of the help, I’m motivated to stay positive and work hard for my future.
Though some days might still be tough, Jenny’s situation has become more stable at home. She is also staying positive and hopeful about the future. She intends to pursue a career in the medicine and/or science industry, and she is studying hard now to ensure she has the opportunity to do so when the time comes.

Photo & article by: Plus Collaboratives

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Jay Ng
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