Growing up, Braydon Tan Jun Kai, 12, often found it difficult to buy supplies for school projects as his parents struggled to make ends meet.
Despite that, Braydon persevered, determined to score well enough to enter his "dream" school.
From the time he was in Primary 1, "I knew about Victoria secondary school when my brother attended a talk there. I envied my brother, joining a school that was so big and amazing. It was a dream for me", he said.
With that goal in mind, Braydon achieved 247 points for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) last year, securing him a place in Victoria School.
Yesterday, Braydon was one of 56 beneficiaries of an academic award from The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).
Samsung Electronics Singapore has partnered with STSPMF for the third year in a row for the award, with a contribution of $20,000.
The students received cash awards ranging from $200 to $600, depending on their scores. Ms Sarah Chua, vice-president of IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Singapore, and STSPMF chairman Warren Fernandez, who is editor of The Straits Times, presented the awards.
Mr Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group, said: "For us at The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the primary focus is to make sure they don't go to school hungry. So we give them the support so that they have money to buy whatever necessities to keep them going in school. And if they do well in school, that is a bonus.
"We are proud of them, as they were able to overcome their difficulties and have done well in school, and for that we are very happy for them and their families," he added.
STSPMF provides pocket money to children from low-income families for school-related expenses. Since its launch in 2000, it has helped over 160,000 children and disbursed over $60 million.