Two years ago, national netballer Kimberly Lim was juggling sports with studies and working part-time to supplement the household income as she comes from a single-parent family.
It took such a toll on her that she contemplated giving up netball. But she carried on, spurred by her passion for the game. It led to gold medal success at the recent SEA Games after Singapore beat Malaysia in an exciting final.
Yesterday, she scored again when education company Kaplan surprised her with a $32,000 scholarship to help her complete her psychology and marketing degree from Murdoch University.
When Kimberly, 20, and her mother, former kindergarten teacher Ginny Lau, were summoned to Kaplan's Wilkie Road office yesterday afternoon, Madam Lau feared the worst, thinking her daughter was in trouble.
But she was all smiles when it turned out to be a scholarship presentation, and she gave Kaplan president Leon Choong a hug.
"I know it has been so hard for her all this time, working and studying to help me. So there's a lot to be thankful for," said Madam Lau, a mother of three.
Mr Choong praised Kimberly for being a straight-A student, and said: "After the SEA Games, I had friends telling me she was part of the netball team that won gold for Singapore, and I learnt about her family background. So I decided that we could do something to help her out."
The scholarship means that Kimberly can stop worrying about her school fees. "I was still trying to figure out how to pay for my next semester," she said. "Now, I can focus more on what I want to do and hopefully excel in it."