Scholar Stories:
Yap Kai Ling

After personally sharing her story on how she came to receive a scholarship from our Knowledge Is Free Scholarship Programme, Humaira now shares the story of Yap Kai Ling, another student from the first cohort of ProjectEd Scholars.

When I first found out that the other two ProjectEd scholars of the first cohort are students of law and medicine schools, I was profoundly amazed and felt that it was such an honour to be in their league. However, it sent chills down my spine to realise that, in fact, there were greater adversities they encountered to get to where they are. One of them is Yap Kai Ling, a strong-willed and independent girl from Sarawak, and this is her story.

Kai Ling is currently studying at the University of Malaya, pursuing her first degree in law. It has always been a longtime dream of hers to finish her studies with flying colours and become a credible lawyer – to serve the nation, to defend the innocent, and to live life to the fullest by giving back to the society. Notwithstanding her determination, nothing comes in a flash; there is a price to everything. Prior to her first degree, she enrolled in a matriculation programme in which she was provided a monthly governmental allowance. However, when that period ended, she had to stand on her own two feet. Accepting the offer from her current university meant living far away from home with limited money at hand. Her parents and family were not in sight as they live across the sea in Sarawak. Living costs in Kuala Lumpur are tremendously high and demanding. It was tough and rough, but she took on the challenge.

Studying was already torturous as it was, but Kai Ling had to strive to solve money issues on top of that. Yet, her willpower and open-mindedness apparently overcame it all. She took daring initiatives to get out of her comfort zone by taking on quite a number of temporary jobs and opportunities. For a diligent person like her, weekends were no holiday. She believed that the days where most people are resting were the best time to work her fingers to the bone. Oftentimes, she worked as a promoter for respective organizations and events. Despite the tribulations and struggles she had to undergo, she was so positive, persistent that she is a true believer of ‘when there is a will, there is a way’. When she was asked about the worst financial situation she has ever been in, all she said was, “I don’t think there was anything to be called the worst that happened throughout my degree life. If I am ever lacking money, part time jobs are always there to solve my financial issues.”

Then one day, her friends shared the advertisement released by ProjectEd on the Knowledge is Free Foundation (KIFF) Scholarship which had opened for application. Surely, opportunities do not always come twice which made her submit her application for the scholarship. “Let’s just give it a try. It could be trial-and-error, but who knows my luck?” It was beyond her imagination that simply submitting an application was the key to her life-changing stage. Yes, she succeeded unknowingly. Her down-to-earth personality expressed that it was all because of luck. However, apparently, what led to her successful application was her bravery to give it a try, her strong will to do her best in everything and her powerful belief that all is well as long as she keeps going.

To date, aside from granting her such relief that she previously felt out of reach, ProjectEd has been greatly helpful in funding her studies. Things got better eventually now that another resourceful strength has appeared to support her education. Moreover, she views the fact that she could become part of the ProjectEd family as deeply mesmerizing. It has opened the doors to learning new things from the committee members. The effort and spirit shown by the ProjectEd members amaze her so much when she could see that they do not hesitate to help students in need by taking extensive measures like travelling around the country just to provide assistance on educational matters. It is absolutely an inspiration for Kai Ling herself to boost up her confidence and vision more than ever.

It is her deep thought that the scholarship is really a blessing that she could never receive had she chosen to despair without trying. To Malaysian students out there who are financially challenged, she expressed a message, “Don’t give up on education merely on the ground of financial difficulty as education is the key to success. There are always ways to solve this (financial) problem. Working part time is always a great way but make sure you don’t neglect your studies. And there will be some kind souls around sending you helping hands”.

Article written by: Humaira Mohamad (18 June 2019)

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