Three outstanding students with disabilities were awarded the Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities at a presentation ceremony attended by Guest-of-Honour Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth as well as Mr Andy Hewson, Member, Board of Trustees, Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation and Managing Director, Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore), today. Matthew Ng, Nicolette Koh and William Tay were selected for their tenacity and for defying the odds to attain stellar academic results and achievements beyond the classroom despite the challenges brought about by their disabilities.
The Scholarship is given out by APB Foundation as part of its commitment to developing and empowering talented individuals through education. Managed by local disability-focused charity SPD, APB Foundation has committed over $2 million to empower 55 young adults with disabilities in their educational pursuits since 2004.
“APB makes it a priority to give back to the community by harnessing the talents and potential of our youths. I’m extremely proud of all the young people whom we have empowered through the Scholarship over the years. We remain deeply inspired to continue investing in nurturing and empowering the next generation of thought leaders and game changers,” said Mr Hewson.
Many of the Scholarship recipients succeeded in their respective fields such as science, banking, technology, and sports. Notable recipients include five-time Paralympic champion Ms Yip Pin Xiu and 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Mr Toh Wei Soong. The Scholarship has also produced many disability advocates such as Mr Winston Wong and Mr Joshua Tseng, who continue to actively advance the disability cause.
“We are extremely privileged to have the long-term support of APB Foundation. Their generosity and commitment have transformed the lives of many individuals with disabilities and their families. Their support has also been instrumental in enabling us to advance disability inclusion. We certainly hope to see more corporates take a leaf from APB Foundation and step forward to contribute in ways that they can,” said Mr Abhimanyau Pal, Chief Executive Officer, SPD.
One of this year’s recipients, Nicolette Koh, 21, had a challenging childhood due to hearing loss. Having undergone surgeries for cochlear implants to enable her to hear clearly, she partnered with her peers to set up NP Supportify to support students with special educational needs at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Fellow award recipient, Matthew Ng, 21, was diagnosed with dystonic cerebral palsy when he was nine months old. Though the condition has affected his lower limbs and right upper limb, it did not deter the fitness enthusiast from working out actively. Leveraging on his skills in information technology, he set up an online baking business with his mother and continues to donate part of their earnings to charity once every two months.
Joining this year’s honour roll is 22-year-old William Tay. Diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder in primary school, William faces challenges in processing speech when it is fast or unclear, or when communicated in noisy environments. But the Harvard Prize Book winner did not let his condition stop him from contributing to his community. Putting his pharmaceutical knowledge to good use, William volunteered in one of his school events to help explain the finer points of taking medications to low-income families.
This article first appeared on 19 October 2022 on the SPD website.