I am grateful that I had a second chance

Minister of State Halimah Yacob asked, in “S’pore ‘has not departed from principles’ it was founded on” (Aug 27), if Singaporeans are given a second chance or if they are written off if they take the path less travelled.

I was an Institute of Technical Education graduate in nursing in 2005. Through hard work and help from my family and lecturers, I went to Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP award).

With a one-off cash award to cover my tuition fees and ease my financial burden, and with more encouragement, I strived further.

In 2010, I received a Health Ministry scholarship and I will pursue my degree in nursing next month at King’s College London.

A friend of mine with “N” levels took a similar path. She has since graduated from the National University of Singapore and is working as a nurse at a hospital here.

Were it not for the slew of measures that gave us a second chance, a progressive education pathway for “late bloomers” and strong social support, we would not have made it thus far.

We are but two of the many success stories here. Singapore gave us limitless opportunities when we worked hard, dreamed big and took an active role to reach our goals.

From Marcus Chia, Aug 28, 2012
Source : Todayonline : I am grateful that I had a second chance

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Halimah Yacob  Halimah Yacob

Dear Marcus,

Thank you for your letter to the Today newspaper which I have attached as a link below.

You gave the example of yourself and your friend in suport of the point that I had made in my speech on the importance of giving people second chances. I find your examples inspiring, and demonstrate that people can excel and achieve their potential if they have the support and encouragement.

I hope that more Singaporeans will share their stories so that together we can build a more understanding and tolerant society, where not everyone will take the same path or run at the same pace, but given the encouragement and opportunity will do just as well.I feel that this greater diversity will strengthen our society and give people hope that they too can overcome the odds and benefit from our progress.

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