Forum: Offer study grants to those who break stereotypes and help others

I refer to the article "More teeth for fair employment watchdog" (Aug 30).

While I applaud the ground-breaking initiative to promote inclusion, I suggest doing more to encourage people to challenge and break stereotypes - be they female electricians, male kindergarten teachers, autistic managers or psychotherapists who have recovered from mental illnesses.

One way is to launch scholarships for people with disadvantaged backgrounds to acquire the qualifications that they are passionate about and will let them bust stereotypes, in exchange for them mentoring others and serving their communities.

This can be modelled after the Philip Yeo Initiative, which identifies and supports young individuals who have ideas that can make a great positive societal impact in any sector or industry. It provides funding of up to $20,000, mentoring support and networking opportunities.

University degrees, required by many professions, are costly.

If deserving people can be supported to unleash their full potential, they can create a huge impact in ending discrimination as well as benefit others like themselves.

Many of us have made mistakes in our youth. Or we may, for instance, have given up on tertiary education (and our tuition grant) due to disability, family crises or other unexpected problems.

A second chance to advance in life, combined with the opportunity to serve others, will be truly appreciated.

Eric Chen

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