30 beneficiaries of ST pocket money fund awarded $1,000 each

Secondary 3 student Lim Zhi Yi has been practising the yang qin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) for almost nine years since she started primary school, but she has never owned the musical instrument.

This may soon change for the Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) student, who is one of 30 beneficiaries of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) to be awarded $1,000 each for doing well in their co-curricular activities (CCAs).

The award - which was inaugurated in 2019 but cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic - is sponsored by investment management company Capital Group to encourage students with non-academic talents to pursue their dreams.

Zhi Yi, 15, who is the yang qin sectional leader for her school's Chinese Orchestra CCA, said: "Previously, my lack of finances prevented me from owning my personal yang qin. However, this award will help me afford one, allowing me to practise pieces in my free time."

Another recipient, Primary 6 pupil Muhammad Hakeemi Razeki, 12, from Dazhong Primary School, said he hopes to use the award money to join external football academies to improve his technical skills and tactical awareness.

Hakeemi, the captain of his school's football CCA, added: "I hope to represent my future secondary school in football competitions and, if given the opportunity, I would also like to represent Singapore at the international level and pursue football as a career."

At a virtual award ceremony yesterday, Ms Katherine Wee, partner of Capital Research Global Investors, said she hopes the award recipients will be able to continue pursuing their dreams and progress in their CCAs. "Passion with talent should be funded, supported and encouraged, especially in the early stages," she added.

Capital Group is one of the world's largest investment management organisations, managing more than $2 trillion in assets.

The STSPMF was started in 2000 by The Straits Times to provide pocket money for children from low-income families. It has disbursed more than $80 million to about 180,000 children.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline '30 beneficiaries of ST pocket money fund awarded $1,000 each'. Subscribe