Four millennials, Foo Xu Hui, Daniel Liew, Samuel Lim and Toh Wei Soong, demonstrated tenacity and resilience amid adversities, and were awarded the Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities on 8 October.
We spoke to the three of them who shared their aspirations and their thoughts on receiving this scholarship.
Foo Xu Hui
After a slip and fall incident, Xu Hui, was paralysed from waist down. Though she had to repeat her first year of junior college and get used to using a wheelchair, Xu Hui did not let the incident discourage her from participating actively in the community and pursuing her interest in para swimming and singing. Since her junior college days, Xu Hui has volunteered in several disability-related events and is now involved in a student group that promotes integration and inclusion in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she is a third-year student.
“My family and I are very proud that I am able to receive this scholarship, which would allow me to concentrate on my studies and improving my skills in swimming and singing,” said Xu Hui.
The 23-year-old is passionate about singing and dancing and hopes to have the chance to debut as a singer-songwriter to write songs that give people with disabilities strength and courage. “I hope to be a rising voice for people with disabilities and advocate for an inclusive society,” she added.
An incident permanently damaged Samuel’s upper airway and upper gastrointestinal tract when he was only three months old, which resulted in impairment in his breathing, eating and speech. After experiencing struggles and challenges in verbal communication growing up, Samuel grew increasingly interested in phonetics. “I realised that language can sometimes reinforce certain misperceptions and stereotypes,” he said. This led Samuel to take up Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at NTU. Through his studies, the second-year undergraduate hopes to research deeper into the relationship between language and society and finding the root causes of discrimination.
With the scholarship, Samuel also looks forward to more opportunities to work with disability organisations and be involved in disability matters.
Besides doing well in academics, Samuel’s musical talent in guzheng and piano has also been witnessed by many, where he is often seen playing at charity events, including the SPD Charity Show 2017.
Toh Wei Soong
Wei Soong is currently a first-year undergraduate reading philosophy, political science and economics at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Transverse Myelitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the spinal cord, has affected his ability to walk since young.
Besides his keen interest in reading and writing, the 21-year-old is also enthusiastic about sports and is an accomplished para-swimmer who has represented Singapore internationally. For Wei Soong, juggling between training and studies is tough, but he has his sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Wei Soong wishes to encourage other youths with disabilities and to let them know that they are not alone, stressing that there are opportunities out there to help them achieve their dreams. “The APB Foundation Scholarship is one such opportunity that provides support for persons with disabilities,” he said.
Another scholar, Daniel Liew, who has autism, has a flair for anything numbers and statistics. He is currently studying statics and business analytics at NUS.
Congratulations to our four new scholars!