While preparing for her O levels two years ago, Angeline Phung was bereft of her father, when he died suddenly of gastric cancer.
Her mother, who worked as a housekeeper and a tailor, was left to pay the mortgage for their flat, and unable to help Ms Phung with her expenses.
Her father, a baker, had not left much in savings.
But Ms Phung now has a helping hand as one of the recipients of the first education programme bursary from the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (Isca)for needy accountancy students.
At one point during her first year at Singapore Polytechnic, Ms Phung worked two jobs to make ends meet and at times was so strapped for cash that she would eat only bread for her meals.
"I cried many times," said the 18-year-old, now in the second year of her accountancy diploma.
This will enable beneficiaries to acquire the real-life experiences of a professional accountant and, at the same time, gain career and personal development guidance from a mentor.
MRS LIM HWEE HUA, Isca Cares chairman and former MP, on how the recipients of a new bursary will get more than just financial help.
Established last year, Isca Cares is the charity arm of Isca, the national accountancy body.
On Tuesday, it disbursed more than $55,000to 15 beneficiaries at the offices of accountancy firm BDO LLP, one of the donors of the bursary.
Said Isca Cares chairman Lim Hwee Hua, a former Member of Parliament: "We hope that the bursary will lighten the families' financial burden and encourage our youth to persevere in their studies."
Besides financial assistance, the students will also get internship and mentorship opportunities through the Isca Cares education programme.
"This will enable beneficiaries to acquire the real-life experiences of a professional accountant and, at the same time, gain career and personal development guidance from a mentor," said Mrs Lim.