Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Coming from a home with difficult financial circumstances, Mr Nigel Tan is acutely aware of the value of education. Its value, comes in enabling the financially less well-off to rise above their circumstances.

“Education is important. My parents have it tough because they are not highly educated and can only work in blue-collar jobs drawing a low salary,” says fourth year material engineering NTU student.

The determination to break the cycle of poverty fuelled Nigel to further his education, however tough it got.

Working part-time to help his family out came at the cost of other valuable university experiences.

Nigel had to quit the Rotaract Club in his freshman year because of the difficulty juggling work, studies and extracurricular activities.

“I had to quit the only thing I could, which was the Rotary Club,” says Nigel.

Fortunately, things took a turn for the better when Nigel was awarded a bursary from the Ma Jan Memorial Fund.. Named after the late, well-loved professor and former Chair of NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, the fund has benefitted many a student like Nigel.

“With the Ma Jan Memorial Fund, I can concentrate on my studies and not have to spend so much of my time outside school at work,” says Nigel, who is more optimistic about his future.

“I aspire to be a lecturer so I can educate our young people,” says Nigel.

“Not only can I help them academically, I hope to encourage students from low-income family backgrounds to persevere despite everything.”

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